Sunday, February 24, 2013

Learning Experience Mechanized By Corporate Educational Reform

The experience of standardized, data driven learning experience is dehumanizing. The process tends to dull the mind and debilitate the natural desire to learn. Consequently, children often disengage from their learning experiences as chronicled in the High School Survey of Student Engagement.
Before 2001, significant numbers of American teachers were on track to utilize the latest advances in neuro-cognitive research to augment their curriculum and instruction efforts. Developing personal and socially profound learning experiences within sensory stimulating learning environments and augmenting the psycho-emotional-kinesthetic realm is a critical aspect of profound, meaningful, transformative learning experience. That idea all changed after the United States Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act and George W. Bush signed it into law. Now teachers must focus their instructional efforts on high stakes testing, test prep and data outputs. The end result of NCLB is the micro managing of learning experience in the classroom through mandated high stakes selected and response assessments of which teachers must prepare their students to do well. Students who do not perform well on this narrow form of assessment run the risk of labeling their teachers and their schools as inadequate as state governments now rate teachers and schools based on how well students do on standardized tests. This result does not bode well for the future of the U.S. as 66 percent of the 400,000 participants of the High School Survey of Student Engagement, reveal they are disengaged by their learning experience. What does that mean? It means the prescription for educational experience mandated by Washington politicians and their corporate billionaire education reform cohorts is a failure.

As a result of NCLB and the Obama Administration's high stakes testing initiative, Race to the Top, at no other time in our nations history have teachers become more dissatisfied with their profession .

Actions speak louder than words. What does the U.S. government and their corporate education reform cohorts value? Do they value an educational experience where children's imaginative capacities are expanded  through experiences centered on children's strengths, interests and passions?  Or an experience where learners are directed to become compliant data processors whose schooling experiences are basically based on seated clerical work activities?

We are entering a period of immense educational upheaval. Concerned? You can contact your elected officials responsible for the crisis in education here: Tell them to stop micro managing educational experience in our schools and stop forcing American children to take high stakes tests. Children's learning experience should be a joyful adventure and it is anything but that since politicians and billionaires have covertly declared war on American Public Schools.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What Happened to Public Education in the U.S.?

Greetings! My name is Clyde Gaw. I am an educator concerned about the direction of American education reform.  In particular, I am concerned with the influence of powerful corporate entities, high stakes testing mandates, de-funding of public education and the affect of these initiatives on children's learning experience in the classroom. Because of  high stakes testing and larger class sizes, teachers are compelled to teach to the test. The importance of test scores in the evaluation of schools, administrators and teachers has resulted in a gradual narrowing of the curricula since the early 1990's. High stakes testing and prolonged data driven learning experience, have a negative effect on the developmental and intellectual growth of children.

I have seen with my own eyes, the devastating affect data driven, Pavlovian based, standardized learning experiences have on children's psycho-emotional well being.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has aided and abetted a corporate coup d'etat in the United States. Duncan defers to Wall Street billionaires who require a compliant workforce to maintain their corporate dominions and have shaped education reform through stealth legislation in state governments while suppressing the voices of professional educators and children who are compelled to participate in forms of behavior modification masquerading as meaningful learning experience.
When five and six year old children are dictated by the State to participate in compulsory learning experiences primarily based in Skinnarian and Pavlovian pedagogical practice, we are talking forced behavior modification as a primary means of educating children. Think Bourne behavior modification training upon the formative minds of little kids! How can Pavlovian learning experiences be healthy for children when they are biologically hard wired to learn through play, group play and multi sensory discovery learning experience? Arne Duncan's prescription for educational experience, non consensual standardized test prep experience is akin to dropping the young inquisitive, curious minds of children into a vat of boiling oil. Einstein would have NEVER approved of these forms of regimented educational experience!

How did it get this way? It would take a lot of influence at the state legislative level to marginalize public education.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) can create such influence and here is a good analysis from Bill Moyer.