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Strong Indictment, Feckless Remedy

Posted By: Dick Schutz on November 30, 2007
I don't see how anyone can refute either the charges or the consequences. I can't. But my, oh, my, the remedy offered:?

"Better schooling depends...on adequate resources for the job, human and financial, and lots of hard work, day by day, in an ethos of support and high expectation, in school and out."

That and a few bucks will get you a latte at Starbucks, but it won't deliver better schooling. The fatal flaw in the reasoning underlying educational research is that people USE research. People use things--organized products and protocols that reliably accomplish an aspired end. In sectors other than education, large effort is devoted to producing these things and "research" is considered a cost rather than a benefit. It's the D in R&D, and the field of engineering. The Federal Government ruled out the funding of development on any scale large enough to be consequential. "Engineering" is a pejorative term in education, not a worthwhile and necessary field. "Technology" is equated with electronic equiprment rather than "how to."

Schooling instructional materials have also grown obscenely obese over the years. Primary teachers receive suitcase size cartons of gear for reading instruction. And we have tests/assessment/evaluation out the ears, none of which is sensitive to the instruction that is being delivered.

We have unaccountables at the top of the EdChain punishing teachers and school officials for trying to make the best of a bad situation. Teachers in turn, find the fault in kids, families, or society. About the only thing we haven't (yet) done is kick the dog.

Technically, reliably delivering academic capabilities aspired by parents and citizenry is currently very feasible, but the political obstacles within and without education are daunting. The sad thing is the "eyes of the nation" are upon the politics and economics not on the technological matters.

Dick Schutz
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 Strong Indictment, Feckless Remedy by Dick Schutz on November 30, 2007
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