Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Thursday, August 2, 2012

State Run Education is Great (If you Don't Mind Mind Control)

I happened to read this article on the Internet and I think it makes some interesting points about the State's takeover of education.



The New Totalitarianism: How American Corporations Have Made America Like the Soviet Union

 By Sara Robinson, AlterNet

 Posted on July 15, 2012, Printed on July 16, 2012

http://www.alternet.org/story/156311/the_n...he_soviet_union

Education: Testing, Not Teaching

 My eighth-grade civics teacher used to terrify our class with grim stories about the education endured by our unlucky peers in the USSR. Communist education, she said, was nothing but rote learning -- no discussion, no critical thinking skills, all aimed at preparing kids for high-stakes standardized testing that would ultimately determine their place in the Party hierarchy. They weren't free like we were to explore our own interests, or choose professions that pleased them. Rather than being treated like full, autonomous human beings being prepared for a limitless future of their own design, they were sorted and graded like potatoes, and tracked to serve the needs of the state. All of the decisions, we were told, were dictated by the central authorities in charge of determining what kind of workers the state would need, and which schools students would be sent to in order to fulfill those goals.

 The ironies abound. Even as China has ramped up its efforts to inculcate creativity and critical thought in its students, the United States has voluntarily given up on those values -- our competitive edge over the world for the past 150 years -- in favor of a centralized, test-driven schooling regimen that only a Soviet bureaucrat could love. Increasingly, the doors to the best high schools and universities are closed to everyone but those in the top echelons of society, (who can pay the outlandish tuitions) just as the best schools in the USSR were set aside for the children of the Party leadership. But the greatest irony of all is that, far from being done in the name of the state, this is being done by taking education out of the hands of the state and giving it over to for-profit corporations. Again, the more "private industry" gets involved, the more the outcome looks like something from a 1950s John Birch caricature of the horrors of Soviet life.

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