Are we educating our kids...or brainwashing them?

brainwash  (ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃ) — vb( tr ) to effect a radical change in the ideas and beliefs of (a person),

Is this not what is happening in our schools on a daily basis?  Moral neutrality, Outcome based education, Standardized testing, these are just a few of the tools being used daily to brainwash, er, effect a radical change in the ideas and beliefs of our children.

Consider a quote that hearkens back to 1902 from the newly formed General Education:

“In our dreams, we have limitless resources and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands…The task we set before ourselves is very simple as well as very beautiful one, to train these people as we find them to a perfectly ideal life just where they are.” Fredrick Taylor Gates (This was the dude behind Rockefeller’s philanthropic efforts.  It was he who dictated how much and where Rockefeller’s endowments would land.)

I was reminded yet again at how education is not about critical thinking, exploration or curiosity…it’s about The Test.

This week, Caleb is taking the standardized tests as required by the No Child Left Behind nonsense.  Yesterday, I received the school newsletter complete with tips on how to help my child succeed on the test.  You may remember some of the testing tips, “read all the choices in multiple choice and eliminate the ones you’re certain of first.”

Tomorrow night, I am attending a lecture on “general predictors of educational success and how communities can take action to improve the performance of students.”  That should be very enlightening.  I doubt they’re going to talk about learning about a child’s strengths and how to develop them best as an individual.

The Test is no longer about the child either. The school is weighed in the balance. (And their funding depends upon their performance.)  The teachers are graded (can you imagine the challenge if you have classroom of unmotivated kids?)  And now…the parents are being called upon…not to cultivate their kid’s interests or help them study great literature or develop creativity…but to help them take The Test.  The insanity of it all!

But I guess one might say that now, it really does take a village…to brainwash a child.

PS I’m eager to watch “Waiting for Superman.”  In should be in the mailbox today.

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