kitchen table math, the sequel: repeat after me

Saturday, February 24, 2007

repeat after me

It's not about education. It's about politics.

6 comments:

SteveH said...

I agree, but I also think that Ken is doing a terrific job. Will it help? Well, we all hope for some sort of critical mass for change.

But I don't want to argue with educrats about curricula and testing. I shouldn't have to. It's not about convincing them that DI is a better way. It has to do with who is in charge, government or parents.

Schools want children and parents to take "ownership" of their education. OK. Give us the money and open up the choices.

Catherine Johnson said...

It took me quite awhile to come to this.

I remember, way back when, Vlorbik saying, "It's about politics, stupid."

(He didn't say "stupid." But he probably should have. just kidding)

For me, this recognition has been liberating, and enormously helpful in terms of trying to change things here.

I now point out, regularly, the power imbalance between administrators and parents, a fact of life that normally remains masked.

That said, what Ken & everyone here is doing (are doing? too bad no one ever taught me grammar!) is critically important. Ed may be thinking about writing on this subject (I hope he will)....he's trying to cess out the political consequences of a choice to focus on critical thinking without knowledge.

If you don't have knowledge, it's difficult--perhaps impossible--to "criticize" the powers that be.

That is absolutely true. Ed and I are, now, having some political effect here in Irvington. That has happened because I've spent two years reading and writing ktm; I couldn't possibly have reached this point without that intellectual work. (THANK YOU ONE AND ALL)

I learned last night that the posts I write for the Irvington Parents Forum are being forwarded to the new assistant superintendent of curriculum. I had planned to introduce myself and start forwarding things; turns out she's already getting them.

The reason I can write these posts is that I've acquired knowledge about the education system, about math, about math ed, and about cognitive science.

What's important about what we're doing isn't that we persuade our opponents.

What's important is that we "persuade ourselves;" we are building the arguments that undermine the status quo, and we're communicating these arguments to others.

I think it's fair to say that ktm has now had a political effect in some districts.

It has certainly had an effect in my own.

Tex may have singlehandedly blocked a TERC pilot in her community (amazing story there!); she did it by reading and writing here at ktm and, out of that effort, constructing a brilliant email that was forwarded around her district.

(I now know what the ktm book will be: "Emails That Worked.")

I've also heard from another ktm person who took it upon herself to advocate for a child who was being lost in her system - and succeeded! She says she was emboldened by ktm, and I'm sure she was.

Mike in Texas is a sparring partner.

KDeRosa said...

I think RWP was pointing out that facts do not matter to the true believers.

You will never convince them they are wrong. Period. They are a lost cause.

What I aimm to do is to just keep them talking. The more they talk the more foolish they look to everybody else reading the argument. The observers are the true audience.

Ultimately, the goal is to discredit them. I try to do it through a combination of facts, reason, and ridicule.

rightwingprof said...

SteveH said...
"I agree, but I also think that Ken is doing a terrific job."

So do I, and I think Catherine said it here:
"What's important about what we're doing isn't that we persuade our opponents.

What's important is that we "persuade ourselves;" we are building the arguments that undermine the status quo, and we're communicating these arguments to others."

I meant that Ken was wasting his time talking to an educrat, not that he was wasting his time in general.

Catherine Johnson said...

What I aim to do is to just keep them talking. The more they talk the more foolish they look to everybody else reading the argument. The observers are the true audience.

sheesh

I need to read more Machiavelli.

(I'm reading The Prince.)

Catherine Johnson said...

I meant that Ken was wasting his time talking to an educrat, not that he was wasting his time in general.

yup