Haim posted Nov 27, 2012 11:15 AM: > > My thanks to Michael J. Petrilli who, via Jerry > Becker, defines the Education Mafia: > > Jerry P. Becker Posted: Nov 26, 2012 6:39 PM > > >What We Learned About School Reform in 2012 > >By Michael J. Petrilli > > > >That comes down to simple arithmetic: With 3 million > >teachers and several million more bus drivers, food- > >service workers, aides and other staff, the public- > >education system is the largest employer in the U.S. > > >These folks vote, and they make their views known to > >friends, family and neighbors, through traditional > >word of mouth and social media. They've even been known > >to send word via the children in their classrooms. > > As for the rest of Mr. Petrilli's advice on how to > to continue school reform: it is pie-in-the sky > feel-good nothingism. This desire to reform the > existing institution is like smoking: impossible to > give up even though it is killing you. > Without fully endorsing all of Michael J. Petrilli's article, I must give my thanks to Haim for falsifying his own 'thesis', out of his very own mouth/by his very own pen.
I can contradict, from personal experience, Haim's claim that it's "...impossible to give up smoking though it's killing you". I was a (very) heavy smoker of cigarettes (50-60 or even more cigarettes per day). I gave it up in 1991-92 - and have NEVER smoked or even puffed at a cigarette since the day I gave it up. (Of course, this evidence may well be dismissed by such as Robert Hansen as being no more than 'anecdotal fluff' - but it's far less 'fluffy' than his own anecdotes).
I claim, in opposition to Haim (and his cohorts and consorts in the debate), that improving the school system would be far less difficult a task than giving up smoking. Given that there is an adequate constituency that is really interested in improving the educational system, it is only required that we learn how to integrate the good ideas of:
"a) the children who go through the educational system; "b) the parents and other citizens who fund it; and "c) the people who are employed in and by it (who apparently constitute that infamous 'Education Mafia' of Haim's) "d) any other stakeholders".
I have previously provided information about tools that can help in such ambitious 'integration of ideas'.
Accomplishing the above 'integration of ideas' will, I claim, demand a sizable re-orientation in thinking (in fact a real revolution) on the parts of Haim and his cohorts and consorts, and perhaps of other stakeholders as well. Now THIS may well be considerably more difficult than 'giving up smoking'!
[As noted elsewhere, it is not difficult to learn something; it is hugely more difficult to 'unlearn' anything - particularly bad thinking habits]. > > The school reform effort reminds me of a story my > my brother, a family physician, told me. During his > rotation in oncology, while an intern, he observed > cancer patients, who had gone under knife many times > and were already missing various pieces of their > anatomy, smoking by putting cigarettes up to the > holes in their tracheae. These were not stupid, or > even fatalistic people. Rather, this act was a > testament to the power of nicotine addiction. > See above. > > And so it is with school reform. > See above.