Sunday, February 13, 2005

What Teachers College Taught Me

TC President Art Levine articulates a bold new vision for the school:

"We decided to focus on equity, which has become an issue of profound importance in our society, because there are large differences between the educations available to high and low income, suburban youngsters and inner-city children, and people of different races. We're talking about how to bridge those differences. This issue has a host of different names; maybe the most common is 'the achievement gap.' But what we mean, precisely, when we talk about educational equity, is the discrepancy in access, expectations and outcomes between the most affluent and least affluent populations."

You see, future teachers of America, it's not how much the kids learn; it's whether they all learn the same exact amount. For this, we must focus on "equity" and "bridging differences" and . . . anything but how to divide fractions.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what point you are making here. It seems appropriate to expect students to learn "the same amount." Isn't this a reasonable and measureable goal for a law school, master's degree program, pilots' licensing bureau, public high school, advanced swimmers' test, and second grade social studies lesson? That's what final exams traditionally test for: comprehension and retention of a certain "amount" of info/knowledge. But President Levine switches into PC mode. Our Columbia Teachers' College President offers an Absolute Falsehood. Deceptively, he claims thus: "What we mean, precisely, when we talk about educational equity, is the discrepancy in access, expectations and outcomes." Say what? Speaking honestly and PRECISELY would mean distinguishing between expectations vs. outcomes. The goal of constitutional democracy is to offer equal access and equal expectations, without any Levine's Magic Hair Tonic guarantee of equal outcomes.
Socialism and communism, those roads to serfdom, have shown over and over that the only way to guarantee "equal outcome" is to make everyone equally dead (or equally enslaved in physical and cultural impoverishment, as a next-best-thing-to-dead option).

Anarcho Capitalist in Lerner said...

Dear Precedent Laveen,

"Give us Educational EQUITY rather than mere Educational EQUALITY" ???
This sounds like an elegantly nuanced campaign slogan for Hillary's Village 2008 (as in It Takes A).

Or are you simply reading from the transcript of Kerry's recurring bad dream about Election 2004, re the discrepancy "between access, expectations, and outcomes" at the polls.

Adam Scavone said...

Levine should be working on figuring out the best ways of breaking the backs of those goddamn teachers unions.

For those of you who call New York home, the New York Observer ran an outstanding op-ed on the "Campaign for Fiscal Equity" that found a sympathetic judge who decided that money was the more important factor rather than the shitty, broken educational system that rewards teachers for sticking around a long time rather than producing educated kids.

And a big fuck you to Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was out at a Catholic school yesterday asking the Catholic church to keep it open, saying "we need as many good schools as possible," though he opposes school choice.

Anonymous said...

[Let me clarify: "For those of you who live in New York," check out the other op-ed at the Observer about Gov Pataki's astoundingly bad job as a governor, do some quick math using the numbers from the NYObserver or anywhere else, and you'll quickly see how screwed this state is.]

[And speaking of the New York Observer, I heard about it for the first time on the Reason blog a few weeks back, highly recommended by Nick Gillespie, and so I bought a copy. I was impressed the first time, especially by the fact that, unlike most other rags on the stands these days, I just couldn't figure out where their biases lay. I've bought and read it maybe four times since then, and for a while I thought it tilted left, then this week I thought it tilted a little right, but I still can't pin them down, which makes it refreshing these days.] A.S.