In about 15 minutes I’ll be waking Tucker up to get ready for the first day of public school seventh grade. Tess starts at her freshman year of high school at her independent school on Friday. And while I’m happy for them and the opportunities they have to go to places where they are cared for, places that are safe and where teachers take their jobs seriously, I wish I was more excited about their prospects for learning this year. Once again I’m weighed down by this question that Seth Godin asked yesterday on his blog:
As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?
That pretty much nails it, but I would doubt that more than 10 percent of the parents or taxpayers in the US are “wrestling” with that question in any meaningful way. They…we all should:
As long as we embrace (or even accept) standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership and most of all, the bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.
We are in trouble. And as Mary Ann Reilly commented on my blog, “We need to disrupt this. Soon. Now. Together.”
So how will you, how can we do that this year?