Chapters 1-3: Responding to specifics...
A few thoughts about specific quotations:
"The standardization and accountability movements are the culprits. The concepts of critical thinking, problem solving, and issues-centered education are antithetical to this movement" (2).
"Many schools have evolved into places where inquiry and active engagement are not encouraged. A standardized curriculum, instruction, and procedures, dictate little risk taking" (5).
Ironically, when the standardized reading and math tests became prevalent, science, social studies, and the arts were cut in both time and funding. Now, science and social studies are being tested as well. Schools who lacked the forethought to keep a well-rounded curriculum are now scrambling to make up for lost time. The science tests that I have seen are putting more weight on critical thinking and less on content knowledge. You can imagine how that's impacting schools. Unfortunately, jumping through all of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) hoops is soaking up time and money teachers do not have available to them. I have heard, with the new administration, there will be a move towards individual growth indicators. This is not the set bar that everyone must meet to be 'proficient' as NCLB requires. This means that a 6th grader who starts the year on a third grade level and ends it on a fifth grade level will show positive growth. A 6th grader who starts the year on an 8th grade level will need to be above that level by the end of the year to show positive growth. Up until now, the first student would be giving the school a bad name while the second would be showing the school's success. That will all change with growth indicators. Ahh...but I digress.
"While SEMs are covertly influencing children in the schools, some marketing is more overt" (20).
If the choice is between cutting a sports program due to lack of funding, or using a scoreboard and equipment with a corporate sponsor's name on it...the choice will always be to use the free stuff and keep the program. It hasn't occurred to me until now that this product placement should be discussed as the advertising that it is. My adult mind just "knows" that. I wonder how many kids realize that they can't have Coke and Pepsi in the same school.
The discussion about the Exxon video (20) was both shocking and disgusting. I would hope that a teacher wouldn't use it or would use it as part of a bigger unit. Within that bigger unit, the teacher would provide the missing information and examine the reasons for such video productions.