Monday, July 16, 2012

yong zhao

pammoran (@pammoran)
7/16/12 4:23 PM
@MaryAnnReilly we'll be paying 4 years for that boondoggle - love @YongZhaoUO's take on it mass localism

Soon enough, the reformers will celebrate their success in finally moving America out of its miserably outdated, 19th century, parochial education system and imposing consistency and coherence upon a seemingly chaotic system. Yet, in my opinion, they will have succeeded in destroying precisely what America needs for its future in a 21st century, globalized society. And, in time, even the reformers will discover that America has lost its capacity to be the leader in creativity, innovation, and democracy. They will have succeeded in ruining the engine for that. I believe, to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, that the current reform movement is the worst form of education except all the others that have been tried.
In this age, people and community, instead of an authoritarian distant government, hold solutions to their local problems and understand their own needs. In this age, people and communities are able to build networks and learn from one another across geographical boundaries. And in this age, competitiveness lies with differentiation, uniqueness, and diversity.

in response to common core as cure all:
There are two fundamental flaws with this argument. First, there is no assurance that the prescribed knowledge and skills in the national curriculum are actually going to prepare our children to compete globally or domestically. Given the rapidly changing world, it is only illusionary to think that a group of self-proclaimed reform experts, most of whom may have been successful in the past but have little idea of what may come in the future, can actually prescribe what will be valuable 20, 30, or even 50 years later. Technology will change, new resources will be discovered, and billions of individuals from around the world will enter the workforce, all of which will make today’s valuable knowledge and skills less valuable, or obsolete, tomorrow (Florida 2002, 2005; Pink, 2005; Zhao 2009).
The second flaw is the assumption that global competiveness is a game of quantity instead of quality. That is, the more competitive nation or individual is assumed to be the one that possesses more of the same ability, knowledge, or skill. For example, for a nation, global competition would be measured by how many more people it can produce who score better on math tests than other countries or, for an individual, how much more math he or she knows. This second assumption is wrong on several accounts. 

First, federal and state governments must reduce their prescriptive measures imposed on schools, especially in terms of educational outcomes. The most damaging action has been the imposition of test-based quality indicators. While proponents may argue that this is necessary to ensure equal opportunity for all students, equal does not mean equitable. In fact, forcing all schools to teach the same thing the same way discriminates against those who may differ, punishes those who are innovative, and deprives local schools and educators of their autonomy and resources to actually help their children.