Sunday, February 17, 2013
What Happened to Public Education in the U.S.?
Greetings! My name is SemioticJim. 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.
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.