Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Technology Void in the Classroom

When Americans look for FAILURE, they need look no further than the myopic stupidity of No Child Left Behind. The national delusion that NCLB will somehow magically correct the social ills of public schools is no less insane than a half-dozen other Bush initiatives. The difference being that NCLB experiments not only with a few generations of children but does so at the expense of America's well-being.

There are still a few of us who care about the health of the nation and cringe at the self-destructive practices in American high schools. In my experience the following report is no exagerration. NCLB legislates a testing of teachers and students that emphasizes silo content specialties. Yet the modern world is expanding information theory in precisely the opposite way.

American school teachers need to understand information retrieval mechanisms, information organization and dissemination mechanisms, and dozens of other technical and organizational skills and methodologies far more urgently than they need to worry about becoming content specialists. There is neither time, money, or incentive for teachers to lift a finger.

NCLB is a toxic educational waste dump. Teachers are so buzy fretting over perpetual testing and frivilous factoid exercises that the students never learn how to learn, value information, think, intellectually breathe, follow their bliss, or become a real person. We are creating a Pinnochio generation of micro-managed, Fox News terrorized young people who are devoid of initiative, as technically illiterate as their teachers, and treated as easy pickings by credit vultures (the federal government being one of the hungriest predators).

A report in Information Week merely confirms the obvious.

Report: High Schools Fail To Meet Needs Of Tech-Driven World

Roughly only a quarter of U.S. high schools require students to take computer science courses, due in part to a misperception that computers are for video games and surfing the Internet, says a new report.

By K.C. Jones, TechWeb.com, Jun 12, 2006 12:10 PM

"The United States cannot ignore the fact that there will be a shortage of qualified candidates for the 1.5 million computer and information technology jobs by 2012," co-author of the report and CSTA President Chris Stephenson said in a prepared statement. "This report provides a call to action for a variety of audiences to help others acknowledge computer science as the fundamental field that it is."

-snip-

CSTA issued a statement saying the report should serve as a "wakeup call to the United States on how far behind it has fallen in treating computer science education as a core knowledge requirement for all educated citizens."


There is no doubt in my mind that sounding wake-up calls to the "What Me Worry" administration will produce little more than more really bad ideas, so I'm looking to responsible citizens to vote hard come November. Don't just send these political idiots a message, boot them the hell out of office like you mean it.

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