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Diversity Makes Room For Tall Poppies

January 6, 2014 by Tunya

Alberta, Canada’s TALL POPPY, Had To Be Cut Down To Size

That Alberta education scores have suffered the deepest relative slide in Canada and within the longest time span is significant — statistically AND politically.

The ingredients that contributed to Alberta’s high academic school scores over the last decades were — choice, charters and professional attention.

The Edmonton Model, in particular, is written up in a number of economics books for the cause and effect relationship.

But this became intolerable to factions of The Blob, particularly the teacher unions and some academics — egalitarians no longer tolerant of rhetoric only. The air-miles added up briskly as consultants were brought in to shape a “levelling”. It happened. PISA 2012 shows it.

But will there be a backlash or will Alberta accept being put in its place?

This all fits in with the conspiracy theories about dumbing down of public education for the nefarious reasons attendant to the theories. The Internet is replete with references and blogs. Scads of books have been written. One of the latest is well researched, written by a beady-eyed lawyer, and while focusing on the US common core picture has a lot to say about 21st Century Learning efforts worldwide (as is the Canadian experience).

If the title seems too far out, coincidentally, it’s the “math” experience that brought forth the apt title — Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon. Check out reviews. Here is the anecdote on the title.

Pages 34-35 explain the story. It seems that there was a serious need to improve math, so when finally a PhD Math scholar took over this department, there were great expectations.

But those hiring either failed to check credentials or were profoundly ignorant. The successful candidate’s PhD was based on study and thesis work on Equity Pedagogy, something “widely divergent with what parents and taxpayers and maybe even school board members would assume they were getting”. They didn’t realize the degree was geared “to move the course work away from the transmission of math knowledge, skill, and practices.”

Thus, the title — Credentialed To Destroy.

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