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Member since: Mon Jan 3, 2005, 01:52 PM
Number of posts: 23,340

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This entire education "reform" movement is based on a false premise.

It works like this: since would-be reformers can't control any of the variables in the education process BUT the teachers, the teachers must be the problem. Otherwise, the "reformers" can't actually change anything.

The teachers can't control the real variables, the reformers can't either.

This other point: the reformers HAVE NO IDEA how to improve teacher effectiveness. All they do is to place the RESPONSIBILITY on teachers to figure that out for themselves by measuring their effectiveness, though they don't know how to do that either. All the "reformers" are doing is to look for someone to blame for educational failure, without anything substantive to add to the conversation.

The problem is poverty, and all the associated conditions that go with it.

I teach in Montgomery County, Maryland. We are one of the best public school systems in the country, and have done more to narrow the achievement gap than any other system in the country. We are just north of the District of Columbia schools, some of the worst performing schools. I would point out that we are highly diverse in Montgomery, and have just become a majority minority county.

Some of the highest rated public school systems in the country are in the DC suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, also highly diverse. The top-rated high school in the country is in Fairfax County Schools.

What do we all have in common? Affluence. Five of the top ten income per capita counties in the entire US are in Maryland and Virginia, and most are DC suburbs.

But we can't talk about that. This subject is off the table in the modern "reform" movement. The idea that the teacher is the single most important factor in improvement is absurd in the lack of societal will to address the real factors that create a permanent underclass in this country.

I disagree with this also

Because of human nature and its offspring mores in current US society, religion has a protected, elevated status as a motivating factor in behavior, and is given a latitude far beyond any other influence. Because liberal believers dare not or cannot challenge this, they indeed have some responsibility for the nefarious actions it permits in their less liberal co-believers. Human nature per se has no such status and no such willing defenders among the liberals who understand it.

First, in terms of elevated status in motivating factors, religion is not the only game in the US. Capitalism is equally, if not more exalted. Individual freedom is the paramount value, often to absurd, anti-social, and destructive excesses in it's name, looking at libertarians, survivalists, tea-partyers, and any of the extreme small-government crowd. The right to bear arms as percieved by many Americans as absolute, and excuses all kinds of bad behavior. Look at the "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Secondly, a liberal believer has a different belief than a conservative believer, and that conservative is no more likely to listen to a liberal believer than a liberal atheist. A conservative Christian would not even probably consider the liberals Christian at all, because they define membership in the group differently.

Third, liberal Christian protests are often not covered by the press, or if they are, they are not prominately featured, as they are simply not controversial enough to be interesting news. We have put links in this forum to actions taken and groups protesting, but that has done nothing to prevent this meme from circulating over and over again in this forum that liberal believers are not doing anything. It is utterly false, but it persists.

We are each individual actors; we have no responsibility for the behavior of others, nor could we control them even if we wanted to. Liberal Christians have no greater responsiblity for the behavior of conservative Christians than atheists do. Liberal Christians have no greater control over conservative Christians than atheists do. That is just the way it is. It is neither our responsibility or within our power.
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