Comforting The Afflicted And Afflicting The Comfortable

The drive to narrow the focus of education by reducing it to test-taking focused almost exclusively on literacy and mathematics, things that are easily measured, while pushing aside the more uncomfortable disciplines like art, philosophy, and the humanities has accelerated over the past couple decades. The comfortable are disturbed by the sorts of critical thinkers that emerge from a real education. They are afflicted by those of us who ask a lot of questions, challenge their authority, and stand up for our beliefs. And so the schools they seek to create are ones that focus on questions of how rather than why; schools that seek conformity through standardization; schools that are activity centers more than places of real learning. Continue reading

Here’s How to Solve the Student Debt Crisis: Make College Free

In 2012, a small group with roots in Occupy Wall Street organized what they called 1T Day, to call attention to the moment student debt surpassed $1 trillion nationally. That number has since ballooned to $1.3 trillion and is expected to increase to a mind-boggling $2 trillion around 2022. Continue reading

What’s Good For Bill Gates Turns Out To Be Bad For Public Schools

David Morris On the Commons http://onthecommons.org/magazine/what%E2%80%99s-good-bill-gates-turns-out-be-bad-public-schools And, actually, bad for Microsoft too, as we learned recently Schools have a lot to learn from business about how to improve performance, declared Bill Gates in an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal in … Continue reading

Are Americans Dumb? No, It’s the Inequality, Stupid

Sadhbh Walshe The Guardian/UK http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/americans-dumb-oecd-study-test-scores Are Americans dumb? This is a question that has been debated by philosophers, begrudging foreigners and late night TV talk show hosts for decades. Anyone who has ever watched the Tonight Show’s “Jaywalking” segment in … Continue reading

6 Ways Neoliberal Education Reform May Be Destroying a College Near You

Owen Davis AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/education/6-ways-neoliberal-education-reform-may-be-destroying-college-near-you?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark This past August at the State University of New York, Buffalo, President Obama made a familiar offer: “major new reforms,” this time in higher education, “that will shake up the current system.” The New York Times described it … Continue reading