> While I continue to be insulted by the "Education >Mafia" references over the years, I will weigh in here >again with a few comments. For my own sanity, I will >rename "Education Mafia," "Public Education in America"
First, I am surprised to see your comments. There seems to be something funny going on with Math-Teach, and not all comments that go through the LISTSERV are making onto the web site.
Regarding re-naming "Education Mafia" to "Public Education in America": with respect, Anna, I have to insist that words have meaning. "Public Education in America" is a public policy goal. "Education Mafia" are a group of people. The distinction is large.
For example, "safe streets" is a policy goal. As a society, we think that people ought to be able to walk the streets of our towns and cities, secure in their persons and property. In order to achieve that goal, we hire some people, give them special powers, and charge them with keeping the streets safe. We call these people "police".
Similarly, as a society, we think that children between certain ages should be educated, and we want to provide that education free of charge to their families. To accomplish this, we hire some people to design and implement curricula. The people who design curricula, develop pedagogy, and train teachers are (or should be) professors of education who work in schools of education, and the people who use the pedagogy to implement curricula are called teachers.
There are some other people involved, like school administrators, district superintendents, school boards, vendors of various kinds of supplies and services, etc. All together, professors, teachers, administrators, and vendors, I refer to as the "Education Mafia".
I am sorry you do not like that name. Please suggest another name. However, the name of the policy goal, "Public Education in America", cannot be appropriate as a name for the people we hire to implement that goal. It seems, frankly, incoherent.
Perhaps you want to suggest some kind of acronym. For example, you know there are organizations that seek to protect and promote the interests of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Such organizations are sometimes referred to as "LGBT". Maybe you want something like that for teachers, administrators, professors, and vendors. You will have to work on that. (I will probably keep on calling them "Education Mafia".)
> I strongly believe that there is no mafia or >conspiracy - instead what we have are a lot of >inefficient systems (districts and charter schools) that >need improvement - one hand does not know what the other >is doing. How can this be a system of conspiracy? Using >this way of thinking, "painting the windowsills" may be >exactly what is needed. I think we need to fix our >educational systems. one district, one school, one >classroom, - one student at a time.
And is it your theory that these systems exist independently of the people in the systems? Were these systems discovered in an archeological dig? Did Moses descend from Mt Sinai with the Ten Commands and the bylaws of your local school board? Or, is it more likely that our education "systems" work the way they do because people want it that way?
So, my question is and has been: who are these people and what do they want? I suggest this should be your question, too.