Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The new school paradigm

Clipped from an article on New Orleans school systems, post-Katrina:

In each classroom I see hand-drawn posters that illustrate the preferred position for a KIPP “scholar”: back straight, hands folded, feet on floor, mouth closed, eyes constantly on the speaker. Call-and-response, and immediate obedience, are emphasized.

“We’re learning a new vocabulary word,” says a fourth-grade teacher.
“Say ‘integration,’” she says.
The students shout, “INTEGRATION!”
“Say ‘integration.’”
“Integration is the opposite of segregation. I love how I have all eyes following me.”

Johnson and I visit a phys ed class taught by a burly former high school football coach.
“One, two, three, eyes on me!” The tiny children reply: “One, two, eyes on you!” One boy silently winks at me.

This sounds to me more like a formula for training little soldiers than scholars.
Or training children to take the test, to improve the scores, to keep the charter money rolling in.

The whole article is here:

[if the link doesn’t work, it might be dropping the trailing ? from the link]

also of note: 
no teachers unions. 

 Right now in New Orleans, there are virtually no teachers unions. Hundreds of teachers have alternative certifications, including many from Teach for America. Donors have poured in millions of dollars — and a lot of outside influence. There is a huge emphasis on data and testing, along with roiling controversies over special education, discipline and English-language learners. And a state-level political fight over the Common Core.

Who needs unions when you have KIPP and SHINE?

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