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View Diary: Unwarranted Demise of Mar Vista Middle School (42 comments)

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  •  I think you have made a great point (0+ / 0-)

    here:

    The wingnuts hate the idea that poor kids might get a decent education and want more than slave jobs at slave wages.
    As a progressive in favor of pedagogical reform in public education I see the current rush to close schools, including the time limits built into NCLB, as a way of preventing real reform from taking place. The Common Core and a return to direct instruction may be significant threats to the power structure.
    •  CCSS are a trojan horse. (0+ / 0-)

      I think that in 2000 most people would have agreed that our schools could significantly improve. There was too much teaching by telling and drilling correct answers. We needed more problem and discovery based education. Instead we got test based accountability which was exactly the medicine for making the patient sicker. CCSS is being sold as the enlightened solution that will institute pedagogy that develops creativity and cognitive ability, but the bottom line is it will be buttressed by test based accountability. So, what is tested will be what is taught. The tests will just be more expensive but the evaluations will just as pernicious and damaging to good education.

      A good maxim: Standards based education is bad education.

      •  tultican, I think your diary (0+ / 0-)

        on Mar Vista Middle School is one of the best things written about education at Daily Kos in the years I've been reading here. It's a real treasure, and I will look back at it for reference on the points you raise. Thank you for writing it, and I hope it reaches readers on all sides of the issues. I agree with you 100% that closing schools is essentially criminal and is a violation of students' right to equal protection.

        I also agree with you about this:

        I think that in 2000 most people would have agreed that our schools could significantly improve.
        But I disagree with you about this:
        There was too much teaching by telling and drilling correct answers. We needed more problem and discovery based education.
        From my perspective, there was too much constructivist pedagogy and not enough direct instruction providing skills and knowledge.

        So while I agree with you that:

        CCSS is being sold as the enlightened solution that will institute pedagogy that develops creativity and cognitive ability... (and that) Instead we got test based accountability which was exactly the medicine for making the patient sicker...
        I think the problem with the implementation of the Common Core standards is that many districts still cling to constructivist teaching methods and are testing for reading and math immeasurables as a result. I agree with you that the forces of oppression are therefore sweeping in to take over.
        •  I guess we have a fundamental disagreement (0+ / 0-)

          I believe direct instruction is sole killing and constructivism is based on clear observation of how humans learn. I see kids learning endless math and science algorithms but they will not be able to use, apply or even remember them in a few months unless they keep drilling. Plus they will not be able to apply them out of context. I agree with Roger Schank, the cognitive scientist, that below grade 14 the emphasis should be on how to think not in learning endless pieces of discrete information and algorithmic abilities.

          •  We have a fundamental disagreement (0+ / 0-)

            about teaching methods, but we both want children to have access to everything there is to know and to have wonder and creative inquiry about everything there is to consider.

            I agree with you that the locusts of privatization are really throwing their weight around now. It's frightening. And they know that closing a neighborhood school, even if it's a middle school, is devastating to the community of families who are actively involved with their children's education. It's an assault on neighborhoods and all that they provide to people of all ages.

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