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Pupils practice cursive writing. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Mark Zetzer November 15, 2013 at 09:13 am
Decisions about what schools teach should be made by the parents and students who employ theseRead More services. Government monopolies have no place in dictating school curriculum. How many more generations of children, parents and taxpayers must be defrauded and robbed by the self-serving predatory monopolies that control education in America? How does any one committee of educrats know if cursive is still useful? It certainly is to me, and I can write cursive faster than I can print letters or text on a phone, and I need to be able to communicate with my children in this way. Autocorrect is also a bane of existence that constantly tries to edit and even censor what I type, including this very post. Individual choices are what will make our civilization thrive, not more bankrupt and intrusive utopian schemes from the hydra of government overreach!
Patch File Photo
RJ August 30, 2013 at 07:48 am
This is an example of the problem with Shaker Schools. If I don't work... I don't get paid. NotRead More only should they learn academically but they should learn lessons about life as it will be in the adult world.
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings
Bonnie J. Gordon August 26, 2013 at 11:17 am
Mark, I've had a look at your post and find it very interesting. It is pretty clearly not aRead More "hard science" assignment (which is not really an academic category anyway - it would be chemistry, biology or, as indicated, ecology). In fact, I have a feeling it might be a Language Arts assignment because of the questions about the narrator and summarizing the main points of everyone's perspective. The Common Core English/Language Arts standards emphasize reading nonfiction and understanding multiple points of view; IB focuses on the latter as well, so this is a good example of how they both complement each other. In terms of your above comment on the assignment, however, I have to question your definition of the word "fact." In scientific terms. facts differ from interpretations in their capacity to be replicated, e.g., no matter how many times you drop a penny from the Tower of Pisa, it will always fall down and not up - but the wisdom of dropping anything from that structure is potentially a matter for debate. As I understand economics, there is an immense amount of interpretation and assumption that goes into calculating even such supposed "facts" as GDP - which is one reason why, for instance, the numbers associated with GDP recently changed dramatically because figures from the "knowledge economy" were incorporated for the first time (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/07/31/gdp-revisions-make-recovery-look-better-recession-not-as-bad/). My own critical thinking waves a yellow flag every time someone talks about "facts" in terms of economics or politics - because unfortunately, all too often, these facts are actually costumed interpretations.
Mark Zetzer August 27, 2013 at 04:44 pm
Thanks Bonnie for pointing out the subject as ecology. This assignment makes sense for IB, sinceRead More ecology is a interdisciplinary field that uses both the experimental method (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and the empirical method (economics, sociology, political science, etc.) to reach conclusions. However, if a student were to answer question 5 by saying that child bearing was strictly a private matter and not a public concern, I would expect that to be acceptable answer. Otherwise, I would detect bias in this essay assignment.
Bonnie J. Gordon August 29, 2013 at 08:22 am
Mark, the wonderful thing about both the Common Core and IB - and I am fans of both, although I knowRead More that it will take years for American-style testing and accountability regimens to catch up with the new core curriculum - is that questions like number 5 have no "acceptable" or "unacceptable" answers, as long as the student can verbalize his or her reasoning and back it up with evidence from the text. The point of a question about child-bearing in an assignment like this (given to students for whom, we can fervently hope, this is not an imminent issue!!) is to get students to think more deeply about what they are reading and to practice deriving meaning for their own lives and evolving opinions from every kind of text that comes their way. This is part of what is meant by "critical thinking skills." Our generation was educated with a completely different paradigm about student-teacher interaction, and it's as hard for most parents of today's school-age children to relate to what is happening in education today as it probably was for our grandparents to relate to the Beatles. Many educational institutions are also doing a less-than-stellar job of bringing parents on board, partly because public education has become so extremely politicized and is such a tempting target for private industry. But I'm thrilled that we were able to have this virtual dialogue, and I hope that the outlines of IB and CC are a little bit clearer now.
RJ July 12, 2013 at 09:51 am
Why not just crown him king or better yet court jester! We removed our children from Shaker SchoolsRead More because of him! Why? Lack of concern about the well-being of the children vs political correctness and poor ranking vs taxes paid by Shaker residents.