Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why is Jonathan Kozol Fasting?

This morning, I am entering the 67th day of a partial fast that I began early in the summer as my personal act of protest at the vicious damage being done to inner-city children by the federal education law No Child Left Behind, a racially punitive piece of legislation that Congress will either renew, abolish, or, as thousands of teachers pray, radically revise in the weeks immediately ahead. The poisonous essence of this law lies in the mania of obsessive testing it has forced upon our nation's schools and, in the case of underfunded, overcrowded inner-city schools, the miserable drill-and-kill curriculum of robotic "teaching to the test" it has imposed on teachers, the best of whom are fleeing from these schools because they know that this debased curriculum would never have been tolerated in the good suburban schools that they, themselves, attended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous! The "suburban" schools Kozol speaks of do pretty much nothing but "drill-and-kill". Most of the teachers I know who teach in Long Island begin regents review in September and are instructed to do so from their chairmen and principals. In fact a good friend of mine who teaches science in Nassau county got spoken to by her principal and threatened with an unsatisfactory rating because she was doing cooperative group work which was an extention of but not directly related to the regents curriculum (the students were investigating and designing experiments stemed from their own questions - true inquiry-based instruction). She was told to give lots notes every day (the parents complain when their children do not come home with their binders full of notes) and go over regents questions each and every day. I have friends/acquaintances who teach in over a dozen different districts in LI and this style of "teaching" is common. Anyone who believes that teaching to the test is an inner city phenomenon is seriously mistaken.