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Comprehensive or Incomprehended?

Posted By: Dick Schutz on August 30, 2005
Hammack concludes, “Whatever the goal, its achievement will require us to focus on the classroom, on curriculum, teaching, and learning.” Ya know. The only thing remarkable about that statement is the fact that this is exactly what is not being done. The high school is out of control; there is no system to the “system.” If you look at the pattern of courses kids take and the substance of what’s taught in those courses, there is no “there,” for the roughly two- thirds, that Hammack pegs at 70% and terms “unprepared.” This is the same group that teachers from Kindergarten through Kollege wring their hands over in the same way.

Hammack claims, “The distractions of new schools and new buildings and new funding and the like, all products of the current high school reform efforts, are getting in the way of the work that we need to do.” Well, not exactly. The “distractions” are demographically necessary to keep the kids off the streets, a societal service that schools deliver very capably and economically. The thing is, the public rightfully expects the schools to deliver instruction similarly. And that’s not happening.

What of “the work that we need to do?” Well, IF “achievement will require us to focus on the classroom, on curriculum, teaching, and learning,” THEN we’re talking about the D in R&D. And we have to recall that the US government, with the blessing of the academy, expurgated technical Development related to education from the lexicon some twenty years ago. Go figure.

Dick Schutz
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 Comprehensive or Incomprehended? by Dick Schutz on August 30, 2005
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