5/16/11

Corporate "Deformers" will lead us to larger class sizes and classrooms run by computers...YEPPY!

I had started a new blog last week for my professional photography pictures and as a way to hopefully promote my side business of event photography. Paying a monthly fee for a website was getting a bit too costly, so I copied and pasted all the sections from my old site to my new blog. Yesterday I went back and the site and it's gone; it's like it never existed. What was most painful was knowing I lost all my material, yet I was sure they'd be someone to hear my complaint. Yet, after doing literally about two hours of research I find that these things happen quite often and that Blogger, the company, has no person you can email or call when these things happen; it's all robots. In disbelief, I kept getting re-routed to a forum where other customers answer your questions, no an official entity, just Blogger customers. It seems the trend of doing what's easy and cheap has taken over every aspect of our lives and when decisions are made prioritizing on cost-effectiveness we all suffer; except the money-maker at the very top of course.

In education, for example, it's easy to sell the idea that standardized tests will be a good way to measure learning. Perhaps the ease in which people can relate to this model is what keeps many from seeing its harmful and negative potential to our children. Yet, when we follow the money, the priority in this approach is not whether or not it really assesses true learning, but only that it appears that way. In the end, it only serves to perpetuate the reward/punitive system that places them at the control panel and to make the money-makers, who are taking over education, richer. Kids? oh, they are not part of the equation.


To anyone remotely associated with a child, this solution is not in the least bit child-centered. Just like in my dilemma with the non-existent customer service at Blogger, one must be completely delusional to think that raw technology will enhance where we stand, or that more children in a class is better than less children. All over the country we have heads of school districts claiming to do what is 'best for children' and meanwhile they themselves do not even apply these philosophies to their own children. To offer a solution where larger classrooms run primarily by computers is a solution one offers when one's never been in a classroom for long. Offering a solution where larger class sizes is at the heart of the selling point is also saying that these 'solution-makers' have never seen or experienced what true learning in their classrooms looks like. Had they experienced what true learning looks like, even in a single child, they would never in million years offer a solution so devoid of life, inspiration and common sense.

So as parents and educators we need to be very, very aware of buying into oversimplified solutions and to always follow the money if ever in doubt of anyone's intentions. Anyone can claim to push policy 'for the sake of the kids', yet only solutions that are truly child-centered can really help children. Only people who know children will be the best barometer for what solutions work for children. It's unfortunate for this country, for right now we have a series of arrogant, self-centered leaders who sound good, but who who possess very little real experience with children and are with much confidence and force, pushing for policies that would do well in Wall Street, yet will ultimately hurt our children. These are children, and most importantly, these are our children and we must demand the same things they demand for their own children, who attend private schools; such as small class sizes, less testing, and a humane environment for their teachers, so that they would feel free to creatively inspire our next generation.




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