Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I rarely post items from the cesspool that is the U.S. education policy blogosphere, but I do keep a half-hearted track of what's going on there. This post will give you the flavour of the place in a nutshell. It's a place where people who work in education are often the enemy ("education reform is 'dominated by people who not only liked being in and around schools, they excelled at academic work.'") It's unrelentingly pro-disuptive privatization ("Uber and charter schools are opposite sides of the same disruptive, empowering coin.") Dan Willingham is a big star (The problem is dumb teacher training.") Ed reform is big, but so is back-to-basics school curriculum. Literacy is tied to memorization ("we must devote ourselves to increasing the breadth and depth of their domain knowledge"). Lectures are liberating ("Had enough of being told to be the 'guide on the side?'") Traditional academics and mililitary academies just go together. The oppressed are depicted as oppressors ("only people in the preferred groups get to speak, and everyone else is afraid.") No matter what the evidence, they find ways to say charter schools succeed. Liberals are typically represented as silly and unrealistic. And they love their idea of paying the star teacher. If you want to be depressed, follow these links. There's a lot of money backing these writers. But all they do is pollute and poison the education policy well. Which, of course, is the point.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Feb 27, 2024 2:18 p.m.

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