Ed Reform Quote of the Day

20 02 2008

“I find myself (once again) in the uncomfortable position of seeing ideas that I have supported as part of a broader set of reforms turn into unhealthy obsessions.

I feel like someone who said that people should wear hats and then turned around to discover that people were talking about nothing else but their hats and walking around naked.” — Diane Ravitch to Deborah Meier in their ongoing education blog conversation

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3 responses

21 02 2008
Deanne

Oooooo! Good quote from Diane Ravitch! 😉

21 02 2008
JJ

Hi D! Isn’t it though?

And it reminds me of another one I blogged at Culture Kitchen, about how we argue over forgetting pencils and sneaking food and kids wearing hats indoors, because we don’t even have a way to talk about the Big Stuff that really matters in education and schooling. (Like poverty and abuse etc)

What kids REALLY need, and how short of that we as society fall, is just all too scary and too overwhelming to face. So we go on and on about the hats. . .

Gimme That Hat!

. . .Sometimes I want to scream.
I’d like to say, “From now on, hats can be left on in the building, and food is welcome in all classrooms. Now, can we just move on, for Pete’s sake?”
But I don’t. . .

We’re arguing about power. About consistency. About priorities. We’re trying to discuss the Big Issues, but we’re afraid to name them.
So we bicker about minutiae.

We fall into the safe arguments that no one will ever win but that will surely fill the time allotted, ensuring that we can return to our classrooms, departments, and homes. . .

If we’re actually going to talk about why kids need to eat in class, then we may have to break the silence surrounding the issues of poverty and inequity.

We don’t really want to
do that. We prefer to stay safely ensconced in our ignorance, putting mountains of energy into talking about nothing at all. . .

(So) kids stay hungry, continue to lack basic
supplies, and, most important, fail to get a sense of what it is to recognize and be able to use their power as citizens. They don’t learn how it feels to exercise power wisely because we refuse to show them.

They learn to pour their energies into petty battles rather than real civic engagement.

In this era of increasing political partisanship, isn’t it time for us to teach our students that looking deeply into the well of our own shortcomings is the way to solve them? How long will we maintain the charade of infallibility, our blameless collective personae?

The greatest gift we can give our students, and ourselves, is the acknowledgment that things aren’t OK — and won’t be OK, even if we build a school in which no one wears a hat indoors, everyone has a pencil, and neither Snickers bars nor apple cores can be found outside the cafeteria.

— LAURA THOMAS, Antioch Center for School Renewal director and core graduate faculty member, Keene, New Hampshire – Editorial Projects in Education, Vol. 17, Issue 02, Pages 50,53-54.

19 07 2011
Florida Gets New Ed Head But As Conservative Con Jobs Go, Not So New « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Beach Post: But Diane Ravitch, former U.S. assistant secretary of education and a leading education historian, noted that Robinson’s resume doesn’t show any experience working as a teacher, […]

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