P O S T E D B Y A L B E R T
1. Run a lap each time you hear somebody frame the purpose of K-12 education in terms of "developing 21st century skills for the workforce" or "supporting vibrant regional economies."
2. Reward yourself with an extra helping of mashed potatoes each time somebody asserts that the primary goal of education should be to help create good citizens with the knowledge and skills necessary for participating meaningfully in a democracy.
My guess is that you’ll be ready for that yellow polka dot bikini in no time at all.
I remember being surprised by a 60 Minutes episode many years back when a reporter—was it Morley Safer?—lamented the declining state of public education. His primary concern was the effect this decline would have on corporations and their ability to hire skilled workers. There was no mention, as I recall, of what it might mean for our democracy to produce high school graduates unable to write a coherent paragraph, understand a simple op ed, or locate the Atlantic Ocean on a map of the world.
Was I witnessing the divergence of a new species, Homo economicus, from its less well adapted cousin, Homo democraticus? The business sector has had a big say in framing the purpose of K-12 education. Have government and nonprofit voices been muted by comparison?
Image source: Música y Recuerdos