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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 September - Reluctant Note

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 AFT President Randi Weingarten speaking about the need for engagement in public schools so that all kids, not just a select few in charter schools, reach their potential. She then compared that need for everyone to have an even playing field to the labor movement, which attempts to do for adults the same thing that even access to public education attempts to do for children. It was a powerful and evocative message, a parallel link between the two issues that isn't readily apparent at first glance.
Howard Dean expressed his support for Randi as the most progressive union leader in the country, and expressed his anger at those who attack teachers without having any idea what is going on in public schools.
My brother Dante asked about the image development problem, in which the unions are seen as recalcitrant to "reform," even as younger activists embrace the conservative "reform" agenda as a cool new approach. Here Weingarten's response was less than encouraging, simply falling back on the idea that what matters isn't so much the narrative as who is doing the work, and that we have to be "sacrosanct on the issues." Unfortunately, that's not going to work. Never has before, and it's not going to now. Labor is going to get killed with that perspective. The narrative is of all-consuming importance.
I think you have missed a critical point without being aware of its significance. Testing, first of children, is not the theoretical goal of education.Nor is evaluating teachers sufficient without doing the same for content and methodology. Rather it is teaching learning skills and generating interest in learning which is the measure of success when dealing with self programming computers. You would swear nobody had heard of the TED program on YouTube - and perhaps they haven't. Why not ?

Forest peoples' rights key to reducing emissions from deforestation


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