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January 12, 2014 by Tunya

Why re-invent the wheel?  Most enterprises learn from the past.  While institutions that parents deal with — the school boards, the principals, unions, etc., etc. all have massive resources to draw upon and an “institutional memory” to be able to advance their causes and needs, parents do not have this knowledge bank.

I’m trying on these pages of PTP to bring forward “old” pieces of information and will also be adding new material.  For today I will briefly provide quotes from my 1981 newsletter showing DISTURBING TRENDS IN EDUCATION

1 — DECLINE IN PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT — “If we believe in the principle that public education is of the public, for the public, and by the public, then the present trend is bad. In my study I have found that we have less public involvement that we had ten years ago.”  – Dean of Education, Art Kratzmann

2 — POLITICS IN TEACHER TRAINING — “Too often education faculty members seem bent on pressing particular dogma or ideology”. Walter Hardwick, former Deputy Minister of Education, BC

3 — PARENTS NOT AWARE OF DECLINE — “I don’t think parents are as acutely aware of the achievement decline  . . . I think there’s an enormous unawareness on the part of parents as to what the schools are doing.” John Goodlad

4 — CRIME/LD CONNECTION — “I estimate that 80-90%% of the young people who came before me in the provincial court were learning disabled as revealed by their pre-sentence reports.” Judge Nancy Morrison

5 — PURSUIT OF PANACEAS — “Schools, probably more than any other institution in our society, seem to be particularly vulnerable to fads, poorly tested concepts and the need to appear scientific.” Irwin A Hyman, Policy Studies Review

6 — BLOATED  BUREAUCRACIES —  “In Toronto, only 5,000 of the school board’s 9,000 employees are teachers.” TODAY magazine

7 — LIP SERVICE TO PARENT INVOLVEMENT —  “Will we as professionals welcome parent involvement . . . or will we follow governmental regulations in the most patronizing way, meeting the regulations only because they are required?” Special Education In Canada

8 — MISTEACHING LEADS TO LEARNING PROBLEMS — “I always see far more problems in the WAY the students have been taught previously than in the students themselves.” W A T White, University of Oregon

9 — SCHOOL BOARDS OFF TRACK —  “School Boards deal largely with fringe elements instead of more basic features of school organization and the main components of curricula.” OECD Review Canadian Education ‘76

10 — DOMINANT TEACHER POWER —  “Citizens seek to enlarge their control of schools. This comes at the same time that teachers seek increased autonomy FROM lay control. Thus, laymen and teachers are on a collision course.” Donald Myers in “Teacher Power”

2014 Exercise — Match the Quotes to the Issues and Score 0-10 with  0 = NOT applicable, 10 = VERY applicable today.  TOTAL SCORE ________________ = DYSFUNCTIONALITY LEVEL

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