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Conversation with the superintendent

I am about to meet with the superintendent for our local school district and I plan to discuss with her the possibility of refashioning educational programs to reflect what should be the purpose of schools that exist to serve a democratic society.  I will ask that she consider growth of individual thinking abilities that serve to make possible informed and thoughtful decision making possible to be the primary goals of school curriculum, teaching methods, school and district organization, hiring practices, and all else that affects the manner in which instruction takes place.  I will say that it is the patriotic duty of those involved in education to make the schools work to develop in students the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will allow to and cause them to want to participate in the democratic process so that they can exercise citizenship in the way that truly good citizens should.

That is my agenda.

My notes:

Teacher control: Engaged individuals who study and think a lot and can share with students the results, their existence as informed and highly thoughtful people.

Student engagement as measure/growth of abilities such as critical thinking, desire to be informed, willingness to take on problems, ability to find paths to solutions, ability to interact productively with others to figure things out, get things done, growth of respect for self and the worth of others, mentally active, appreciation for mental activity and desire to grow intellectually……..

Employment skills

Individual student as focus rather than aggregated test scores to show how well the district is doing.

Make a case, offer bold alternatives with strong rationale

DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION PROPERLY

Schools in a democracy, schools that are created by a democratic government exist to serve the purposes of the democracy, to develop students’ ability to participate effectively in the democratic decision-making process.

The purpose of public schools in a democracy is not making employers happy.  It is to develop the abilities allow for effective decision making on the part of the individuals that make up a democratic citizenry.

Play patriotism!  Not to have decisions made for them but to participate in making decisions, one amongst many contributing to the goal of figuring out what is right and getting it right, for the sake of individual well being which ultimately defines societal well being.

SCHOOL SHOULD BE INVIGORATING, CONSTANTLY MAKING CURIOUS THE WORLD SO THAT THERE IS DESIRE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT, LEARN TO USE THE TOOLS—THE DISCIPLINES—TO DISCOVER AND MAKE SENSE OF THINGS.

Teachers = human beings deeply involved in making sense of the world who invite students into the process, invites students to become fellow voyagers always respecting their potential to contribute to the quest.

Aim at what good evaluation would evaluate for rather than at success on the test.

Re-orient schools to meaningful intellectual goals and understand the tests to be of minor concern in comparison to intellectual growth, growth achieved, valid tests not a problem.

 

 

 

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