I mean really, can this be said any better than the way Alfie Kohn says it?
We are living through what future historians will surely describe as one of the darkest eras in American education – a time when teachers, as well as the very idea of democratic public education, came under attack; when carrots and sticks tied to results on terrible tests were sold to the public as bold “reform”; when politicians who understand nothing about learning relied uncritically on corporate models and metaphors to set education policy; when the goal of schooling was as misconceived as the methods, framed not in terms of what children need but in terms of “global competitiveness” – that is, how U.S. corporations can triumph over their counterparts in other countries. There will come a time when people will look back at this era and ask, “How the hell could they have let this happen?”
As Kohn suggests later in the article, educators need to drive these conversations, not politicians and businessmen. And I get the sense from the comments on my last post that people are looking for ways to do just that but are frustrated with the lack of scale. We can only start so many wikis…
One of the benefits of the Web is that everyone can have his or her own voice. One of the drawbacks is that everyone can have his or her own voice. Used to be only a few people started movements. Today, anyone can. So the question is, how do we pull our individual movements together into something that gets some real push behind it? Or do we even need to do that? Is there another path?
In other words, how do we not let this happen to education?