There you have it. A concise summary of what’s wrong with present corporately driven education change: Decisions are being made by individuals who lack perspective and aren’t really accountable.
Those decisions are shaped not by knowledge or understanding of educating, but by ideology, politics, hubris, greed, ignorance, the conventional wisdom, and various combinations thereof. And then they’re sold to the public by the rich and powerful ( Marion Brady, “When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids“).
The economist Doug Henwood has long contended that the problem with the U.S. economy now isn’t just the ordinary cyclical ills of capitalism but a deeper malaise rooted in a decadent ruling class. It’s decadent in the specific sense that it no longer understands what it needs to do to keep capitalism running beyond the next quarter’s profits. Short term thinking has become paradigmatic and self-defeating.
It sounds like that might be good news. If the current ruling class collapses, then maybe some other sector of capital, more amenable to reason, might fill the power vacuum. We all hope that we are reaching the end of another gilded age, and that as Obama would seem to suggest, witnessing the birth of a new progressive politics that will re-boot the thinking of our rulers and allow us to get at least some of our money back.
No one’s talking revolution; it’s all about undoing the worst damages of the Regan era market religion so that capitalism can resume its formerly dynamic march towards the future. I don’t mean to be cynical but this sort of hope only goes so far. Still, I think the hope is real, particularly when mainstream educators like Brady are using this sort of language. She sounds like Henwood. The emperor looks more naked all the time.