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Topic: A Little Heresynactmuzik
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 12, 2000 6:14 AM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
A Little Heresynactmuzik
Posted: Aug 12, 2000 2:05 AM
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"Some people may favor subjecting poor African-American and Latino children
to 'teaching styles that stress drill, practice, and other mind-numbing
strategies' because they assume that 'such children lack ability.' Others
swear that they simply have the best interests of these kids at heart when
they make them fill in blanks and even chant answers in unison. Lately, this
kind of prescription for inner-city schools has been endorsed by a number of
mainstream journalists and politicians. One reporter, writing in the
ATLANTIC MONTHLY in 1998, endorsed a packaged drill-and-skill program called
Success for All that is 'used almost exclusively in poor schools,' remarking
that it may be 'punitive to local school boards, principals, and
teachers--but they had it coming.' (He doesn't say what the children have
done to deserve it.) The mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey, also waxed
enthusiastic about a pedagogical approach that relies on 'constant drill and
repetition.' In his words, 'It's not that hard to give answers if someone
just told you. They memorize back and know and get used to a lot of A's on
quizzes.' So would he send his own kids to the kind of school he is
advocating for those who are poor and black? Well, no. 'These schools are
best for certain children,' he said."*

* "Winerip [Winerip, Michael. 'Schools for Sale.' NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE,
14 June 1998], 1998, p. 47. The mayor, Bret Schundler, a white Republican
harvard alumnus, enrolled his own daughter in private school. In the same
vein, Jonathan Kozol dryly describes the conservative educational theorist
Chester Finn's opposition to allocating money for the purpose of reducing
class size. 'That is "not a very prudent investment strategy,'" said Mr.
Finn, who sent his daughter to Exeter, where class size is 13."

The above heretical interlude from the Anti-Christ himself, Alfie Kohn, THE
SCHOOLS OUR CHILDREN DESERVE, p. 10, another book no one need read, though
it has 63 pages of footnotes and 30 pages of references.

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