Disturbing Trends in Education, Revisited

The October, 1981 issue of Education Advisory listed 11 disturbing trends in Education, all with supporting quotes. These disturbing trends are now added to the category in this blog of DECEITS in Education.  Do the disturbing trends and deceits in education of 1981 still apply in 2008, 27 years later?

 

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 than we had ten years ago.” Dr. Art Kratzmann, Dean of Education, Univ. of Victoria, BC after completing a one-year study of education in Western countries, 1981.

 

2. Unions’ Negative Effect on Student Achievement

Robert E. Doherty, public-sector labor arbitrator concludes that teacher bargaining has contributed to declines in student achievement (in Faculty and Teacher Bargaining, G.W.Angell, editor, Heath & Co. Pub, 1981) also see Schools in Jeopardy: Collective Bargaining in Education by P.Hennessy, McClelland and Stewart, 1979.

 

3. Politics in Teacher Training

“Too often education faculty members seem bent on pressing particular dogma or ideology…” Dr. Walter Hardwick, former Deputy Minister of Education, BC, 1980.

 
4. Teacher Power

“Citizens seek to enlarge their control of schools. This movement 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, Professionalization and Collective Bargaining, 1973.

 

5. School Boards Off Track

“School Boards deal largely with fringe elements (e.g. fundraising, school construction, pupil meals, etc.) instead of more basic features of school organization and the main components of curricula.” OECD Review of Canadian Education, 1976.

 

6. Swelling Educational Bureaucracies

“In Toronto…(only) 5,000 of the school board’s 9,000 employees are teachers.” From “The Trouble in Our Schools. TODAY magazine, Sept 15, 1981.

 

7. Parents Not Aware of Decline

“I don’t think parents are as acutely aware of the achievement decline as many other people are….I think there’s an enormous unawareness on the part of parents as to what the schools are doing.” John Goodlad, Dean of Education, Univ. of California after 7-year study of American education, 1980.

 

8. Teaching Problems Lead 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, Dept of Special Education, University of Oregon

 

9. Crime/LD Connection

“I estimate that 80-90% of the young people who come before me in the provincial court were learning disabled as revealed by their pre-sentence reports.” Former BC Provincial Court Judge, Nancy Morrison, 1981.

 

10. 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 and up to date.” Irwin a. Hyman, Policy Studies Review Annual, p 649, SAGE, 1980.

 

11. Questionable Response by Teachers to Parents

“Governments are increasing their structures for parental involvement…and parents say they want more involvement. What will be the response of the professionals? Will we as professionals attempt to welcome parental involvement, listening with open ears to their suggestions and concerns? Or will we follow governmental regulations for parental involvement in the most patronizing way, meeting the regulations only because they are required?” from Special Education in Canada, Vol 55, #2, pg 24 by Lusthaus, Lusthaus and Gibbs in Parental Involvement in School Decision-making, 1981.

 

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