Tinkering Toward Utopia?




David Tyack and Larry Cuban have created the notion that education reform is an iterative process directed toward some type of social utopia. By learning our history, looking for clues in that history that match up to current scenarios, we can make better choices in reforming our education system. Looking specifically at our urban schools, however, their deterioration and resegregation defies pattern.
Schools in urban centers started out separate, and as we became a more industrialized culture, whites began to flee the cities, leaving the factory workers and a dwindling tax base to their own devices. When the automobile came into more homes across the country, suburbanization sped up and the urban schools became poorer. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and the US realized that she wasn't the most intellectually advanced nation in the world. Who looked the stupidest? Wasn't the white suburban kids. Lack of funds and fingers being pointed at the urban schools didn't make it more attractive to stay in the cities. They became somehow more dangerous. Does this sound like an iterative process aimed at some utopia? If so, whose utopia is that?

So, the question is: Is the urban utopia the same as the suburban utopia? If not, why do they have the same learning standards? If "The Academy" was in an inner city, how should their curriculum differ from their suburban counterparts? In the Cornel West interview, he said: "Louis Armstrong would have been on the other side of the achievement gap, I don't give a god damn. Give me Louis Armstrong."

Click the title above to witness a VERY POWERFUL look that speaks to these issues by a friend who thinks very deeply about education reform.

Some of the best recommended readings (from the sidebar):
-Tyack, D. & Cuban, L. (1995)

40 comments:

  1. The urban and suburban schools have to be different. We know that students learn best through relevant materials, so we must respect the different life experiences of our students. The standardized curriculum is a safety mechanism. In our history, we have not been able to cater to individual differences without allowing our expectations to fall due to prejudice. Do we believe in our own ability to create an equally challenging, yet more relevant, curriculum for urban youth?

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  2. Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................

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  3. 唯有用熱情、用智慧去觀察事物,這事物才會把他的秘密,洩漏給我們......................................................

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  4. 好文不寂寞~支持!!!!@@a 搞錯了,這不是論壇推文 XDDD.........................

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  5. 逛到你的部落格,第一個感覺就很好,希望每次更新都是美好的開始,也祝你天天都都開心喔........................................

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  6. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

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  7. 如果相遇.你會感到相知.那麼.有一種習慣叫做陪伴;如果陪伴.你會感到珍惜.那麼.有一種甜蜜叫做存在!..................................................................

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  8. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

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  9. 人應該做自己認為對的事,而不是一味跟著群眾的建議走。..................................................

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  10. 噴泉的高度,不會超過它的源頭。一個人的事業也是如此,它的成就絕不會超過自己的信念。............................................................

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  11. 果然很有意思呀....這當然要頂一頂呀 ̄﹏ ̄......................................................

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