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Friday, November 30, 2007

The Alliance for Education

So there's this full page ad in the PI today (maybe the Times as well) where the Alliance is thanking the people who attended their Black and Orange Ball in October. It's quite a list (SilverCloud Inns and Hotels?).

I read a few of their publications. In one place they say this is what a Seattle public school graduate should have:
  • have the foundational skills for reading, writing, math and science and have the capacity for change
  • communicate effectively (they could have used this for point one; what does that mean?)
  • be a critical consumer of information and be able to utilize changing technology
  • think analytically and solve problems
  • understand and value themselves and others
  • work respectfully and productively in teams
  • value democracy, diversity and community stewardship
  • appreciate the arts
  • be prepared for careers and life-long learning
That's quite a laundry list. Maybe we should add to the list of everything else we want in a high school graduate.

I'm being sarcastic here but you get a list from SPS, then one from OSPI, then the Alliance chimes in. How do we know what's enough, too much or too little? Is this too ambitious a list or maybe that's the point?

9 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Quite a list.

What we need is a list of required skills at each grade level.

Philosophical frue frue seems to be a lot easier to generate than Nuts & Bolts reality.

Anonymous said...

I think this list is more reasonable for a young adult i.e. college grad, trade school grad, someone who has finished a hitch in the military, or in general, someone who is 25-years-old and really knows what they want in life.

The idea that his package comes topped with a bow when you graduate high school is suspect. A lot of us don't really "gel" until we're around 25, but if you follow the prescription for success that so many are obsessed with, you'll be a failure before you turn 25 unless you complete an IB program and get into an Ivy.

Somewhat OT, but look at what the high-achieving culture of top schools and the Ivy League has won our society. Serial liars in the White House coasting on the privilege that money and "legacy" can buy from the right school, all the while trashing the rules the rest of us are expected to follow. WenG

dan dempsey said...

Dear WenG,

I don't think you were off task at all with this:
..."look at what the high-achieving culture of top schools and the Ivy League has won our society. Serial liars in the White House coasting on the privilege that money and "legacy" can buy from the right school, all the while trashing the rules the rest of us are expected to follow."

The big shift in the last 50 years has been media domination of thought. Continual Advertising Bombardment has gradually produced a more self-centered populace that believes more stuff is essential for happiness and success. Evangelical Super Churches whose leaders pursue the same lavish lifestyles as rock-stars seal the deal.

Read "Why Corporate America is Bashing Our Public Schools".

Many of the Public-Private partnerships are more about private profit than public good.

I am extremely suspicious of Dr. MG-J given her record in Charleston and her recent employment of consultants, who I believe are set up to send Seattle down the same path of futility.

I would still love to see the selection criteria that produced her as a finalist.

Given the enormous rise in campaign contributions during the last school board campaign - I fear the fix may be in. I hope not as I think there is wonderful potential on this board, but given the Charleston connection it is starting to look like the Business Round-table may be selecting the correct course of action for SPS.

In many Seattle Schools and/or classrooms the required (by State law) daily Pledge of Allegiance does not happen.

The idea of service to others has been replaced by allegiance to self. I think that bettering self to be able to contribute productively to the common good is an idea that is sadly missing from many of today's "Lists".

Community service requirements are just one more thing students need to check to graduate and get on with the good life.

For many students this time would be better spent with additional academic time and focus - perhaps 20 hours of ethics or just school work.

Does anyone ever think of reducing the number of topics in math in the SPS, even though this is what is needed?

More lists with more stuff for kids to do fits right in with this. Parents moan about kids being over-scheduled and not having enough time to do a quality academic job. The State, Business, and SPS respond with longer lists of things for students to do.
Priorities appear non-existent to the education know-it-alls.

I will now go back to napping under my aluminum conspiracy-shielded pyramid.

Anonymous said...

"I would still love to see the selection criteria that produced her as a finalist."

Oh please, haven't we been over and over this? How many years were we going to slog through it to make you happy? I'm sure we could all nit-pick any candidate. The board was lucky it could find someone like this, since their first attempt at selection was an unmitigated disaster.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's remember that the Board which had the disastrous search for a Superintendent was nearly a completely different Board (only Mary Bass sat on both) than the one that selected Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 11:36 said:

The board was lucky it could find someone like this,

Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson was lucky she could find employment in Seattle as it appears she would not have been rehired in Charleston.

I think there is an underlying agenda in place that she was hired to enact. I think the hiring of McKinsey is confirmation of this suspicion.

Anonymous said...

And do tell, what is that agenda? (for those of us too dense to read between the lines)

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 5:11PM,

Look at Charleston under MG-J
it appears at this time that Seattle is following this direction with little if any modification.

Try googling the Newsless Courier there you can read all about it.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 5:11

You might also try reading:
Why Corporate America is Bashing our Public Schools

It provides really interesting analysis and insights into the current agenda.