Reposting CURMUDGUCATION: The Soft Bigotry of Baloney

A grumpy old teacher trying to keep up the good classroom fight in the new age of reformy stuff.

The Soft Bigotry of Baloney

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 08:20 AM PST

You may not know Michael Gerson’s name, but odds are you know one of his most famous pieces of writing– “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Well, Gerson was in the New York Times yesterday expressing his displeasure with the new version of ESEA. At the same time, he was serving up the hard baloney of reformster ideals.

Gerson opens by recapping some of the results of ESSA in a voice that– well, maybe he’s sincere, but it feels as if he’s being sarcastic as what he sees as self-evidently wrong points of view, a style of writing that I am somewhat familiar with (game recognizes game).

The whole thing [NCLB] was a mess from the start. Failing schools didn’t like to be labeled failures, because it made administrators feel as though they were, like, you know, failing or something. Many teachers didn’t like the relentless emphasis on testing, which ate into their time for the unmeasurable joys of learning.  

His summary, as he winds up for the main pitch:

The Every Student Succeeds Act is a win-win-win for everyone who counts. Most Republicans are pleased that the federal role in enforcing educational standards has been effectively abolished. Many teachers are pleased to see lower stakes on standardized tests. States and localities are pleased that they can declare all their schools successful, or at least make accountability a fuzzy, gentle, toothless friend. 

And now he launches his point–

Follow this link for the rest of the blog post:

CURMUDGUCATION: The Soft Bigotry of Baloney

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