Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Trouble with 'Innovation' in Schools

Gregory Michie

Applause followed, but I left feeling deflated. I believed the media studies course was beneficial for many of our school's seventh and eighth graders. At its best, it gave them space to voice their opinions on issues, to become more critical consumers of media messages, and, broadly speaking, to become more literate. Maybe even more importantly, it provided an outlet for the kids to express themselves creatively.
But none of that seemed to matter much when held up against the new priorities. It became clear to me that afternoon that we'd taken a few more steps down a perilous, narrow path in Chicago. We'd reached a place where the value of any classroom project or school program would ultimately be judged by whether it boosted reading or math scores on the yearly standardized tests.

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