Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our Stupid Discourse

NYTimes, Friday:

Professor Lerman, the American University economist, said some high school graduates would be better served by being taught how to behave and communicate in the workplace.

Such skills are ranked among the most desired — even ahead of educational attainment — in many surveys of employers. In one 2008 survey of more than 2,000 businesses in Washington State, employers said entry-level workers appeared to be most deficient in being able to “solve problems and make decisions,” “resolve conflict and negotiate,” “cooperate with others” and “listen actively.”

Yet despite the need, vocational programs, which might teach such skills, have been one casualty in the push for national education standards, which has been focused on preparing students for college.

NYPost, Monday:

Well, as education blogger Joanne Jacobs notes, educational performance counts for only 20 percent of East Palo Alto Academy students' grades. The rest comes from categories like "Social Responsibility," "Communication Skills" and "Critical and Creative Thinking."

Passing class must be easy when no one challenges you to learn.

Alas, ed schools like Stanford -- too busy pumping future teachers' heads with irrelevant, politically correct pedagogical theories -- apparently don't have time for such pedantries.

Indeed, only the loopy, fruity ed schools could come up with such irrelevant, radical theories as "Social Responsibility," "Communication Skills" and "Critical and Creative Thinking.".

e.g., KIPP Believe College Prep mission statement:

KIPP Believe empowers students with the academic skills, character traits, and self-confidence necessary to excel in our nation’s top high schools, colleges, and the competitive world beyond. Students internalize a critical consciousness and sense of social responsibility to improve the world around them.

Pinkos! We can only hope that someday these KIPP charter schools will be freed from the shadow of Linda Darling-Hammond and Paulo Freire.


Chris Lehmann said...

Have I mentioned how much you rock lately, Tom?

Gary said...

Read the stupid Steven Brill NYTImes Magazine piece or watch Morning Joe discuss charter schools and you'll see how on any given education issue, all sides can be and often are, wrong.