January 13, 2007

Regarding "Expectations" by Katherine Boo

Phooey on Boo. Doing school reform without doing social and economic reform in communities is like washing the air on one side of a screen door. It won't work. Boo's article applied the gossip style of reality tv to educational research. Laden with the imperious standpoint of a millionaire school boss, uncritical of the project to regiment what kids know, and how they come to know it, in schools via racist and anti-working class standards and high stakes tests (NCLB), and propelled by the hubris that poor kids need to be repaired more than an educational system which succeeds when it teaches them not to like to learn (how else is the pipeline of humanity to Iraq to be kept open?), we learn nothing at all about why things are as they are, in schools or out, and most surely nothing about what to do about it. Only real solidarity can overcome the alienation that wrecks all of  economically and racially segregated schooling today, and that solidarity is not going to come from the corporations that drive the Denver Superintendent and apparently jockey Boo's mind.

Dr Rich Gibson
San Diego State University
College of Education