Pete Lee

Monday, February 28, 2005

No Child Left Behind - or so we'd like to think

I am currently taking an online Sociology class at Portland Community College. Online discussions with classmates are interesting, and the professor (Jan AbuShakrah) slips in enlightening statements on a regular basis. I especially appreciate the use of source material instead of textbooks. The source material is cheaper, available at Powell's, and is full of opportunities for thoughtful consideration.

One popular political hot potato is the No Child Left Behind Act. The act itself is 600+ pages of public record, and it's doubtful that anyone beyond policy wonks, sadists or insommniacs have read it in its entirety. Our class was asked to select a particular aspect of NCLB, and assess it from the viewpoint of John Dewey, a notable American philosopher and education reformer. Work Dewey did (such as using breakfast as an opportunity to teach basic chemistry, biology and physics) was considered revolutionary for its time. Perhaps now would be a moment where we stop taking Dewey's work for granted, and ponder the thought that we've had the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants.

An essay I wrote about a great fallacy in the NCLB act: the effectiveness of standardized testing.


  • interestingly, the "on the shoulders of giants" quote, though coined in that incarnation by newton, actually dates as far back as the 12th century. where dwarf sized figures of the four New Testament gosples were pictured on the shoulders of the writers of the Old Testament on stainded glass windows at the cathedral of chartres ( see Merton, On The Shoulders of Giants,1965 )

    By Anonymous eric g, at Monday, February 28, 2005 12:11:00 PM  

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