Three pieces in recent press are making me think.
First, there’s this from Tom Friedman of the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/friedman-obamas-homework-assignment.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0. His thesis is that maybe American education isn’t up to snuff because parents and students just don’t care enough. He cites teachers’ observations of the growing number of students not even passing in work as indication of growing apathy.
Then there’s this one from Hamden Rice, guest blogging for the Daily Kos today (Martin Luther King, Jr Day): http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did. His thesis is that the thing that Dr. King and other civil rights leaders did that changed the world was to encourage the victims of racial injustice to stand up, do the thing they feared the most, suffer the unjust consequences, survive, and celebrate their freedom. (This one is well worth reading, don’t just take my summation!)
And the third, from Debra Monroe on the NY Times Motherlode blog: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/a-balanced-school-needs-a-balance-of-volunteers/ . She observes that it’s only the parents who can afford to take time away from work to volunteer who do, and their unconscious (and unconscionable?) decisions grossly favor their children over those of working class parents. For example, think about the decision regarding which and how many uniforms parents must purchase in order for their child to participate on a sports team.
There are some missing pieces still, but a picture is emerging for me. Is it that parents don’t care about their child’s education, or that they don’t have the time to express their care? Where are we paralyzed by (legitimate) fear? Which among us are paralyzed by fear? Is it the poor who are feeling the deck being stacked higher and higher against them?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m re-committing myself to this blog, wether or not I’m sure of what I say. I am sure that the act of writing will bring me a step or two closer.
Maybe I’m just falling under the influence of another online course – this one the Deeper Learning MOOC (http://dlmooc.deeper-learning.org/).