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Picture of Kalleh
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This was an interesting article in the NYT today, publishing articles on the far left and the far right. One of the articles on the "far right" (which I clearly am not), I agreed with. Here is the essence of it:
quote:
But is developing a workforce for corporations what schools should be about? Such a constricted view of the purpose of education is in fact a central tenet of the utilitarian Common Core (to which standards Bertram’s organization aligns the curricula it creates), but it ignores the deeper purpose that underlies traditional, classical education. That purpose is to offer students the best in human thought so that they may assume their place as knowledgeable citizens, able to cultivate their own gifts and participate wisely in governing their society. It is to educate children so that they can appreciate life, understand others, and fully exercise their liberties.
I am not on the far right, but I always have agreed with that. What are your thoughts?
 
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While it is a conservative statement, it is conservative in the positive sense. If you research the meaning of "liberal arts," you'll find that's what it means. So, here's a case wherein "liberal" and "conservative" converge.
 
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Kalleh, of course you are correct that a classical liberal arts education is not conservative in a political sense, but only, as Geoff says, in the sense of preserving tradition. The article further confuses things by suggesting that progressives are all for a utilitarian workforce-devpt K-12 curriculum (because, Common Core), & conservatives hence must be all about classical ed traditions (because, anti-Common Core). This sort of muddled idea-salad is pretty common in articles about ed w/a political slant.

But Progressive educators are not at all in the workforce-devpt camp. And Common Core is utilitarian only in the most shallow, venal interpretation, i.e., in its attempt to break whole fields of ideas into computer-testable, data-minable mini-skills. A close examination of the CCSS yields little or no evidence that they support devpt of global market-place skills. At best, their proliferation has helped states w/sparse or sub-par stds up their game. But other states w/previously excellent stds have downgraded. The so-called progressive politicians pushing the hot mess of CCSS/ aligned assessments-datamining/ accountability schemes are a combo of centrist Repubs/ neolib Dems responding to the corporate ed industry. And judging by their states' ed-budgets & cheap-charter/ voucher schemes, anti-Common Core conservatives have no interest in supporting classic liberal education.
 
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Good analysis, B35! Why aren't YOU running things?

My late mother was a middle school English teacher for many years. At the time all the "inclusiveness" doctrine began, she noted that politicians were not raising the ceiling in order to educate more students, but lowering the floor. Excellence gave way to a widening mediocrity. No wonder her favorite novel was Atlas Shrugged. Although I lean towards socialism and am anti-religious, I DO see Rand's and others' point that society should foment excellence.
 
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Yes, I agree with both of you. From my readings and conversations with those on the far right, they do think education is only about training for a job. I believe the new Secretary of Education has that narrow view.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Good analysis, B35! Why aren't YOU running things?

Big Grin Big Grin Ah has spoken!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Yes, I agree with both of you. From my readings and conversations with those on the far right, they do think education is only about training for a job. I believe the new Secretary of Education has that narrow view.

Frankly I'm hoping the new ESSA law has enough teeth to keep the Dept of Ed right out of state ed matters. Promoting equal access to a quality free public ed should be their only role IMHO. How to do that is thorny, complex, & plenty enough on their plate. Jumping into the trenches to dictate what a quality ed is & how to deliver it-- big bipartisan mistake going on 2001-2016. I wish fed ed were part of the Dept of Health Education & Welfare as in old days.
 
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Did anybody catch the program on education on PBS last night? It condemned unions in ed, saying they force mediocrity and stifle excellence. In my own case, the best teacher I ever had got "promoted" out of the classroom and into administration, likely because of his very unorthodox style. Never mind that even the problem kids who were dumped on him came out having learned something, he didn't fit the stereotype, and was Jaime Escalante-ized.
 
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I did not see it, but likely would have agreed. I don't think professionals should have unions. I understand the role of unions with other workers, but professionals should be able to negotiate on their own. I hope that doesn't sound elitist, but I've always believed that. There are some nursing unions as well that have held back nursing in a number of ways.
 
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I ran across this statement, attributed to Slick Willy Clinton: “The left at its best tears down walls that shouldn’t have been there, and the right at its best stops the left from tearing down walls that should be there.”
 
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Picture of BobHale
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I did not see it, but likely would have agreed. I don't think professionals should have unions. I understand the role of unions with other workers, but professionals should be able to negotiate on their own. I hope that doesn't sound elitist, but I've always believed that. There are some nursing unions as well that have held back nursing in a number of ways.


Perhaps but wouldn't that mean that identically skillful and qualified doctors (for example) working in the same establishment with the same workload could be paid massively different amounts simply because one was a good negotiator and the other one wasn't? Or worse that a much poorer doctor who happened to be good negotiator could get much more money than a more skillful colleague who couldn't negotiate? And wouldn't that give the employer the incentive to get rid of the ones who were good negotiators and employ only the ones who weren't as a cost saving measure, regardless of professional skill? The assumption that a skillful professional in whatever field is also a skillful negotiator seems deeply flawed to me.

(And on a personal note, I speak as someone who is very good teacher but who hasn't been able to negotiate a rise now for three years.)
 
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Well, there are salary ranges and the negotiations are within them. The pay should be based on the outcomes of the work. However, I do see you point. It just doesn't work in nursing or teaching in the U.S. The unions have gone crazy with demands, at least in my opinion. Physicians don't have unions here, at least that I know of.
 
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