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Re: Purpose of Commentary Unclear

Posted By: Joshua Vliet on January 23, 2017
How does the article not make the need to connect its content to political current events explicitly clear? She says outright at the end of the piece, "With an incoming U.S. Secretary of Education who is likely to continue heavily pushing market-based policies, it will fall to state educational leaders, local districts, educational organizations, and parent groups to resist following this lead. Those of us who care about education should strategize to support and promote collectively-oriented policies and encourage our elected education policymakers to do the same. We must continue to reflect upon whether our educational policy values reflect what we want our society to look like and whom we want our fellow citizens to be."

As for your comments on use of verbose terminologies; would you not consider it an important task to actually give meaning to these words that, while overused and perhaps carrying a phonetic predisposition to coming off as cliche, are in need of re-evaluation and actual substance?

I consider the use of the word 'fear,' for example, a strategic attempt to reclaim the word itself. She actually breaks the concept down into psychological elements and looks at it, in its disintegrated form, as an element present at the mental ontogeny of such insidious pathology's as racism. The important takeaway here is these pathology's are learned as children develop and it is the job of our education system to eradicate such methodologies enabling the perpetual rebirth of an ideology that is without debate harmful to society as a whole.

The author very strategically invokes such words generally less associated with such a term like 'fear' with her italicizing and use of the word 'merit' in the example I referred to prior: "Simply put, on an individual level, competition inevitably promotes fear, namely the fear of losing to someone else. From this, fear festers into hate and judgments about the 'merit' of others."

The sort of rhetoric you are employing risks promoting a mindset that becomes fed-up or annoyed at cliches without recognizing they exist for a reason, and it is the authors goal to re-purpose them into more tactile, useful, and employable mental ideological assets. Your rhetoric also risks disenfranchising terms like 'racism' itself, and categorizing them as verbose and demoted to the lesser respected category 'buzzword.' Any issue that is a priority to deal with is going to have terms that are repeated over and over, and it is up to the author to define them within the context of their own rhetoric which I believe this article does very well.

As for subtle political innuendos, how are they considered subtle at all when they are outright described with terms like 'democratic'? Perhaps the reason you consider it 'non-degistible' is because the article is making a blatantly obvious argument for one political view over another, yet not on the premise of the politics themselves, but what is at stake when opposing political viewpoints trickle down into education and employ certain education techniques. On that note, it seems intentional any commentary should actually be considering politics because they are embedded into the syntax of the overall concepts being conveyed. I recognize your concern for maintaining the integrity of this environment and avoiding political venting, but let's not distort something in the context of avoiding politics and call it something that it isn't. With that, I strongly disagree with both your sentiment and the rhetoric behind this type of thinking which so easily diminishes any thought in conjuction with the word 'democratic' as garb before taking into account the subtleties of the concept (in it's entirety) itself.
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 Purpose of Commentary Unclear by Brad Skaar on January 21, 2017
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