professional educators on schools

Here is Andres Alonso , CEO of Baltimore schools, and the fact that the talks about the kids first is good.  But competition is not the basis of future economies and the very idea of having our kids compete is a losing game that justifies the attempts to weed out losers from winners. (More here in my post competing our way to change?)

In a country where taxpayers pay for this social service, grading has no place.  Evaluation and feedback can be given to parents by teachers and students themselves can select what and how to be graded as they build a portfolio for their future.  Homeschoolers do this very successfully and their model will work for kids in school.

These are simple changes to implement but difficult changes to psychologically grasp.  This is especially true because we now have several generations with experience in the public schools and so few are able to envision any alternatives. This common psychological conditioning predisposes us to many things, from acceptance of institutional violence and authoritarian models, to an inability to actually learn outside a structure.  The cultural baggage is immense and not unlike what breastfeeding advocates encountered when trying to rebuild lost knowledge of breastfeeding and childcare practices.

Public schooling with compulsory attendance has been in place for over a hundred years.  What has changed in that time is our entire economy and social framework.  The schools have not changed much in the way of their practices and structure other than the vastly centralized nature of their administration.  And that is exactly the problem. Fundamental changes to the system are necessary to make schools a modern public social service that are more like community learning centers and far less like Victorian training camps for the poor.
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