Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Fuel for the Anti-Testing Fire

Many right wing pundits use the phrase "left-wing media bias" to the extent that it is now generally accepted as true by the general, uneducated public. Unsurprisingly, these "take it on faith" citizens do not question whether there is such a bias, or why it supposedly exists? Is it a conspiracy by the media moguls who own the majority of our country's news sources? That doesn't pass the common sense sniff test, since most of these are owned by rich backers of the Republican party, who endorse charter schools and school vouchers.  Wouldn't they want to slant the news in their favor (which they do, but that's another story).

On areas where I lack expertise, I bow to the masters. If the plumber tells me that the scupper trap is misflanged or that my discharge valve is siphoning incorrectly, I have to trust what they are telling me.  When my dentist says my lateral cuspid interproximal distal is intruding on the mandible, I tend to believe him. So, American ignoramuses, maybe the liberal bias in the media should be taken as the expert opinion of career professionals on the issues of the day. They know the most about current events, so if they feel that the liberals have things right, maybe they're on to something? I'd prefer that everyone form their own opinion, but too many people do not even have a basic understanding of geography, nevermind geopolitics.
Do you know why this trend started?  No?
Neither do the kid  s who wear their pants like this.
It advertises an inmate's availability for, um, relations.

In any case, I am a teacher. I know a thing or two that the average Joe or Jane does not regarding education.  And I know that high stakes testing is no good.  It has nothing to do with measuring students, and it has everything to do with punishing teachers.  There is so much evidence against it, but it is silenced by the monied interests trying to privatize schools.  Here is one more such piece of evidence.  This article is great enough on its own, but reading the farewell comments of the journalist speaks volumes.  There are very few voices defending teachers, and now there is one less. 

On my summer reading list is "Bad Students, Not Bad Schools", which looks towards America's educational problems through the same lens as I do.  Both the author, Robert Weissberg, and I know that if you remove the students who are not there to learn, education levels will rise dramatically.  This will occur not just because the unmotivated students will no longer tyrannize the rest of the students, but also because those that remain will need to realize that they need to make smarter choices.  Too many students follow the losers, but once those elements are removed, the rest will follow better influences.  It is so simple, it will solver our education crisis and save money to boot.  Of course, you will see some parents on television decrying how their lovely, darling children were tossed out of school for no reason.  Of course.  And I'm sure that the children kicked out will be disproportionately male and minority, but being male and minority doesn't mean you will be de facto denied an education, in fact, it will probably help minorities the most.  End the tyranny of the individual.  It is time.

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