Friday, September 14, 2012

Educational Readings:GERM, Warren Buffet,Alvin Toffler,

Standardizing the education system!!

 Readings by Allan Alach

It is very clear that education “GERM” based school ‘deform’ is an international agenda. The similarities of rhetoric and policies make that very clear, as the last item in this week’s list indicates. One very significant aspect is that these policies are not based on reputable educational research (there is a real dearth of educators supporting GERM) but on a set ideological path. Very strong evidence indicates that the corporate sector is driving this, not from an altruistic motivation, but to increase their profit streams. This means that GERM politicians are either deliberately selling children’s education to the corporates or that they are so ideologically blinded that that they cannot see what is happening, in which case I’d suggest that they are not fit for the job.

There is another aspect to this that has slipped beneath the radar - behind the politicians there are people implementing the policies. In New Zealand, this is the Ministry of Education. While the Ministry is tasked with implementing government policy, I find it incongruous that this is being done by people charged with ensuring that the New Zealand education system works well for all learners. There has been a very definite change in the Ministry’s documentation since 2009, totally contradicting the previous very good focus on the New Zealand Curriculum.

Something doesn’t ring true here and I wonder how many Ministry employees figuratively have trouble looking in the mirror every day. There is a real case, as suggested by one of the readings below, for education to be removed from political control. Our children’s futures are too important to be political playthings for the rich to increase their wealth. 

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

Warren Buffett Is Right: It's Time to Ban Private Schools

What if I said to you that the solution to the problems in our education system would be to "make private schools illegal and assign every child to a [state] school by random lottery"?

That's the view not of Karl Marx or the Chinese Communist Party but of the billionaire US investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett. The "Sage of Omaha" has been a longstanding campaigner for equality of opportunity and social mobility - and sees the existence of private schools as a major barrier to both. “

Outing ACT: Test-and-Punish Doesn't Educate, but It's Profitable for Testing Companies

“The testing fox is in the education henhouse and it is having a wonderful time. Take the mandated high-stakes tests, fall below an arbitrary cut score set by a secret formula and the consequences are life-changing. And not just for the kid. Standardized test scores raise and lower real-estate values, close treasured neighborhood schools, end the careers of experienced teachers, put enormous dents in school budgets, even call into question the value of the institution of public education.”

Get the picture?

The Secret Teacher: let's free education from political control

Say no more…..

Alvin Toffler on Education

Yes, I know, this is not a reading…. worth watching though!

How Long Does It Take To Be a Teacher?

Much longer than 6 weeks, although deformers don’t understand this. Mind you this isn’t surprising, seeing as deformers don’t understand much at all about education.

Thousands Rally in Chicago Teachers’ Strike, Pushing Back Against Corporate-Backed Education Reform

A sign of the international nature of our battle - best wishes to Chicago teachers! May your struggles prevail.

Class warriors take on poor schools with education cuts

This Australian article discusses attacks on public school education in states with  Liberal Party (i.e right wing party) government. Readers from other countries may want to play ‘Snap’ with the similarities. Coincidence, of course...

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