I just read “The Battle For Room 314”, Ed Boland’s account of a year teaching at a NYC high school. Boland had been an admissions officer, done fundraising for nonprofits – but wanted to DO GOOD, and of course go broke in the process.
The dean of the Harvard graduate school of education praises it, as does the former head of the Ford Foundation. So you know it’s a bad book. Sheesh, Boland only taught for a year, and he wasn’t particularly successful. He didn’t have great personal force, couldn’t control the kids, didn’t realize when they were lying to him. Came to hate them. But I didn’t expect to learn anything about educating kids- I wanted to see what page the educrats are on lately, just I have a green chili cheeseburger every ten years or so just to see if they’re still nasty.
Apparently they haven’t learned a thing. Certainly Boland hasn’t, other than than finding out that he likes being paid enough to live on in New York, in a job where people won’t call him a ‘turd burglar’.
He recommends Pre-K and school integration [works in Berkeley, right? no? they must not be liberal enough!] . He thinks poverty is the root of educational failure. He’s so dumb that he talks about the educational magic distilled by Finland and South Korea. The idea that being Finnish or Korean has anything to do with it is beyond his imagination.
What possible observation or event, up to and including Ragnarok, could ever make him come to any other conclusion? He learned nothing, understood nothing, denied everything he saw or experienced.
Sure, we have an intractably low-functioning underclass – two of them now! – but we also have a crazy overclass, and that’s worse. We have a problem.