I broadcasted about this article and created the space below for discussion...
"Last, to shake up the system, we must change how we use technology to deliver instruction. (This is what I’m now seeking to do at News Corporation.)"
This is the crux of his article. Everything before that is just a warm-up to his "solution" - software programs and games for online classes (the new version of programmed instruction?). It's a compelling argument financially because you can deliver content for $70 per student (I read this somewhere) when you have large groups of students working online supervised by a tech support person in the classroom (if you need to supervise them face-to-face so that parents can go to work), rather than a live teacher interacting with real kids. Problem is that, while we have examples of fine face-to-face teaching (some of which he mentions), we have few (none?) examples of totally-online learning classes (e.g., Gates/Pearson, Kline/Murdoch) that effectively solve learning problems. So the solution will actually be a test and the students will be the test-subjects. But it promises to be a wonderful source of revenue for some large corporations...
First, see THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH BEHIND Waiting For Superman (you can order a copy free from the Grassroots Education Movement site or the movie site, both easily Googled), or at least watch the trailer and the reactions to the premiere (I was there for it in NYC last Thursday, got to meet Diane Ravitch, all the folks involved in the movie, lots of great folks, lots of fantastic, grassroots energy). Then, and only then, read the Klein screed, properly shielded against the huge shot of poison he'll try to infect you with. The man is a born liar. He only writes or speaks to protect his butt and promote his own interests and those who pull his strings. Just like Michelle Rhee, just like Robert Bobb, just like Cathie Black, just like Arne Duncan, just like Barack Obama, and just like the puppeteers: Michael Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Bill Gates, the Koch Brothers, the Coors family, the DeVos family, just like Scaife, just like the Walton family, and just like the various pundits, think-tanks, and foundations the billionaires own and control to promulgate their dogmas and schemes to further dominate every aspect of the globe and the lives of others on it.
The previous comment is dead on, but the picture is larger than just education, just privatizing, and just making $$. Read Rachel Tabachnick's pieces on what Betsy DeVos is up to with education and you'll realize just how twisted this is, with neo-liberals and neo-conservatives, including many Jews, scrambling to get into bed with radical fundamentalist Christians. Money, religion, greed, hate, and fear are a very imposing coalition. Grass-roots resistance, disseminating good information, using the 'Net to organize and educate are vital.
To summarize the article: Teachers are what is wrong with education. That started when the power that be stopped trusting our teachers and decided that multiple choice tests are to be trusted instead. What ever happened to Authentic Assessment? Could it be that it would be too hard to evaluate what a child can do and it is easier to look at a score on a test.
No Child Left Behind. But we have stopped evaluating children and are evaluating schools and teachers. Our goal is to get more students to "pass". Then we can forget about the ones that do not pass...the children left behind.
I'm still slogging through it. Writing my responses as I go. The number of false assumptions underlying his arguments - the contradictions - make it difficult reading. Yes, he has some points. For example, accountability matters. But his methods towards change are part of the problem he decries. Thanks for sharing this.
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