Good school or bad school?

PBS asked this question about PS 1 in New York City.

At the end, according to John Merrow (end of transcript):

So, what do you think? Is PS-1 a good school or a bad school? You may have already made up your mind, but the people who make decisions about budgets, about who gets hired, who gets fired, they rely on test scores.

Merrow confirms what educators bemoan, but have not been able to convincingly argue against.  Test scores define “educated” in today’s public schools.  That should be troubling to every philosophical person in the country.

No philosopher has ever defined “educated” as getting high standardized test scores, so this is a definition of “schooled,” not “educated.” Look back at the start of the video.  Merrow said, “Reading is the foundation for all learning.”  Of course that is not true.  Non-reading infants and adults learn things every day.   Merrow’s statement is true, however, when it is changed to “Reading is the foundation for all “schooling.”

Public education is an enormous waste of time and money, but not for the reasons politicians say it is.  It’s a waste because it’s a lost opportunity to educate, not because some students score low on standardized tests.  We need policy makers, educators, and education reporters who are philosophical enough to argue for a more educated citizenry, instead of one that is more “schooled.”

Read the comments at the end of the transcript.  People who have no definition of “educated,” are debating how to better school our young people.  I am not surprised.  Merrow is PBS’s education correspondent, but he doesn’t have a useful, inspiring definition of what it means to be educated.  That is like having a movie critic who does not understand the cinematic art form.

The Education Emperor is dressed in his finest, parading down Main Street.  Does anybody see that he is wearing no clothes?



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