Excellent Teaching…

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2 Responses

  1. jeffdowd says:

    there was a line in a recent nytimes article: “There is a quiet but fierce battle going on in education today, between the unions that represent the public school teachers and the hedge-fund managers who finance the big charter chains, between those who trust teachers to assess a child’s progress and those who trust standardized tests, and occasionally it flares out into the open over something as seemingly minor as the location of a school.”

    This reality makes it difficult for me to believe that different educational philosophies or sincere differences in understanding are driving school reform. On one hand, Gates and his supporters have managed to offer fairly simple solutions and simple obstacles for education. Simple ideas usually win. However, Gates and Rhee etc., have also been very effective in silencing critics and especially keeping them out of power.

    Charter schools, standardized testing and the ultimate goal behind much of the “school reform” – union busting – seems less driven by ideology and more by political and economic interests. I think the role of power is essential to understanding the education debate. A great deal of power is necessary to define “reform” as only your side and have virtually every media outlet repeat this framing casting anyone who questions you as opponents of reform.

  2. Bill Gates is an Idiot

    Bill Gates should stick to what he does best: selling crappy software. As an education analyst he is a fish out of water. In response to the news that education budgets are being slashed all across the US, Bill Gates put forward an argument (“How Teacher Development Could Revolutionize Our Schools,” Washington Post, 2/28/11) in which he suggests that the US is actually spending more on education. Wow, Bill, I guess that’s the kind of acuity that helped build Microsoft into the world’s greatest knock-off software company.

    Appropriate expertise matters: Software experts (such as they are) should run software companies. The more we rely on software experts to design educational policy, the greater the chance that we’ll end up with Microsoft Vista-version of schooling.

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