kitchen table math, the sequel: (cross)posts something KTM-ish

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 (cross)posts something KTM-ish

Here's a (PDF) paper called "Schooling in Capitalist America Revisited" (2001). Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis understand that schools aren't failing, as so many claim: they're doing exactly what they're designed to do (keeping kids ignorant). While I'm at it: the great John Taylor Gatto hasn't updated his page in years. Go buy his book anyway.


Catherine Johnson said...


I just downloaded John Taylor Gatto's book.

Catherine Johnson said...


Look out, world.

Instructivist said...

"Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis understand that schools aren't failing, as so many claim: they're doing exactly what they're designed to do (keeping kids ignorant)."

I don't understand what the point would be of keeping the kids ignorant. It strikes me as a conspirational and paranoid view.

If the argument is that evil corportations want idiots to do some mindless job, that doesn't hold water. With all the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs moving to low-wage countries, more and more demand is made on sophisticated skills.

Instructivist said...

Here is another one of these ads that are looking for extraneous qualifications if you can call it that.

Alternative assessments is a giveaway that nothing much of substance is taught.

School Name/Address Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice

Unit #7600

3021 S. Kostner

Chicago, IL 60623 (or GSR #37)




(773) 535–4303

(773) 535-4271

Anticipated Date: 2007-2008 School Year

Grade or Subject Science 9 – 12

Certificate Requirements Type 09) K6-12 w/Science Endorsement

Submit To Principal Rito Martinez

Other information Candidate must be endorsed to teach at least environmental science and / or biology, chemistry or physics. Progressive educators with social justice background. Must be willing to create alternative assessments and work collaboratively. Candidates should be committed to community and parent integration.

Catherine Johnson said...

oh my god

as to keeping students ignorant, i don't know why it should be but i sure as heck have seen it here

remember all the foofaraw about the answer book?

that was preceded by foofaraw I didn't write about here, because it involved another parent asking for answers to homework sets

we absolutely do have grade deflation here; we have gatekeeping; we have efforts to derail the kids -- accompanied by NO efforts to boost them up

we continue to find it extremely strange, but it fits precisely with the 1940s (40s, right?) idea of "social efficiency" and sorting

(haven't read V's paper yet)

Catherine Johnson said...

we entertain various hypotheses....class warfare against the parents being one

i must say, though, that our consistent efforts to express to the school that WE AREN'T RICH have fallen flat (this DID work in Studio City, where guys who came to work on our house routinely charged us less than they charged our neighbor across the street who was rolling in dough)

we've also assumed that the "sorting" that goes on around here is a way of making life easier by putting only the kids who are basically self-teaching in the hard courses, then giving very high grades to everyone else

but that, really, is a guess

we don't know why the district is as negative as it is, and we don't know why there is an intense focus on keeping all but a few out of accelerated courses

owen thomas said...

you're getting it now, though... right?