Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Absurdity of the "Attack-And-Die" Strategy of Ed. Reform

When I was in college, I read a book entitled Attack and Die.  My memory of the book may be warped by time, but it seemed to recount one God-awful U.S. Civil War battlefield blunder after another.  Some generals continuously ordered, "Charge!" without any appreciation for the state of military technology that allowed their soldiers to be senselessly mowed down by rapidly firing guns...time and time again.  War is hell, but this seemed worse than hell.

Obviously, the Common Core is not literally killing students.  Yet, for one reason or another, the Core brings to mind the absurdity of an Attack-and-Die strategy.  If educational "reformers" really cared about students, they wouldn't wage a war of attrition.  They wouldn't scream, "Charge!" and watch the ranks be mowed down by unreasonable expectations.  They watch students prep towards tests that they really stand very little chance of passing.  The tests they create are like academically rapidly firing machinery.  Then, the "reformers" tally the statistics and blame students and teachers for the fallen.  The thought never seems to enter their mind that they might, themselves, be the source of the problem.

I feel as if we are all on a battlefield.  We take orders from those who are so far removed from practical realities, that they send us to our academic slaughter with ne'er a thought about planning a more sensible strategy.  Any way you look at it, war and educational "reform" seem to be hell...and both entirely senseless at times.   
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