Monday, December 06, 2010

A Dozen Aspirations edReformer
Thought I'd share this sort-of-mission-statement from City Prep. Good strong educations have pretty high demands of kids.

From our perspective, there's a lot buried in that "know enough about their world"--the whole of the education battles, in fact.

Years back, I peeked samples from the Ohio achievement tests. Several of the questions required the student to identify different Native American tribe's telephone--oops, Totem--poles. Match the pole with the Miami, Wyandot, or Seneca tribes.

Now, I have no problem at all with using these as a one-period lesson in how non-western cultures of the time thought and communicated. It's a graphic lesson, a nice break for kids who struggle with print. It probably gives a hint of how the tribes differed, and one could look into why.

Yet how under-educated were the morons who decided this was testable required knowledge for every student in the state? That of the small time allotted to history studies in K-12, the most important, the most accountable knowledge would be the design of totem poles in a society that really was on the fringe of the march toward civilization?

When we make demands, then, we should demand that the 500 words a day of writing usually have some greater content objective. Something that truly helps understand the world of today. A friend recently had a substantial college writing assignment to write her own obituary, "how others see me", and other death-and-narcissism-related items. Bah.

So, great aspirations...if they have good content.

BTW, how cool is the City Prep movie?

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