Lewis Lapham, editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper’s Magazine, contributes his unique in-depth perspective to what our schools have become, the actual status quo, from over a decade of corporate owned and operated education reform. As we consider our children as children with their own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses, Lapham describes the corporate approach to education. He calls corporate education reform “Playing with Fire.”
Lapham’s lengthy and insightful article is a must read for every parent, teacher and intelligent human being who is struggling with the media advertised viewpoint of so-called education reform versus what our children, for the first time in history, suffer through daily. No generation of Americans has ever been subjected to the high stakes testing, the scapegoating and demonization of good teachers, the monetizing of children, the distortion of educational goals, and the perverse private profit driven fanaticism that evaluates and fires accredited teachers on the basis of the test scores of children they never had in class in classes they had never taught.
Children being treated as guinea pigs to be trained for private profit is the reality of today.
Why? Let Lewis Lapham explain.
“The tide of mediocrity flows into the classroom from the ocean that is the society at large, and if many of our public schools resemble penal institutions, the students herded into overcrowded classrooms where they major in the art of boredom and the science of diminished expectations, how better to accustom them to the design specs of a society geared to the blind and insatiable consumption of mediocrity in all its political declensions and commercial conjugations—cf. the Bush Administration’s geopolitical theory at work in Iraq, the quality of the nation’s airline and fast-food service, corporate executives paid $20 million a year for performing the miracle of an $18 billion write-down. Why would any politician in his or her right mind wish to confront an informed citizenry capable of breaking down the campaign speeches into their subsets of supporting lies? Burden the economy with too many customers able to decipher the hospital bills, or see around the corners of the four-color advertising, and the consequences would be terrible to behold. Not even the Federal Reserve Bank could slow down the domino effect likely to shuffle through the entire inventory of the American dream. If much of what now passes for American education deadens the desire for learning (in both the downmarket public schools and the high-end private universities), so does much of what passes for entertainment in the nation’s film and television media.”
Read the entire article from Lapham’s Quarterly HERE.