Friday, March 19, 2010

Education's Marketing Crisis

You can't make this stuff up. If I did I'd lose all creditability.

A couple of days ago, high school graduate and Governor, Jodi Rell appointed a new panel to -cough- provide recommendations for closing the "achievement gap" our national euphemism for the urban internment camps that warehouse the poor, unfortunate, and chronically criminal or unbalanced elements of our society. I've cited studies about this in this blog before.

And I'm sure all of you are familiar with the overseas junkets that waste taxpayer's money in studying schools in places like India and China where universal education is, well, not universal. But boy oh boy is sure makes for a nice expenses paid vacation for the bureaucrats who take advantage, er, go to learn.

Well, this panel is nothing like that. According to Grace E. Merritt's reporting in the Courant,
The group's membership was carefully crafted, he [Steven J. Simmons of Greenwich] said, almost entirely comprising current and retired bank and insurance CEOs, along with three members of education and community foundations.

"I thought about the best way to do this and came to the conclusion that the idea that would make most sense is to have a commission of folks who were familiar with education but did not have a particular point of view or represent a particular interest group," Simmons said. "This gets some business folks together who are experienced at solving problems and have been the heads of their companies."

There's nothing as refreshing as a group of CEOs whose salaries and life experiences are so comfortably made possible by warehousing the poor in cities away from the yacht clubs, docks and four star restaurants they've grown so accustomed to. In fact, as CEOs one of the ways they "solved problems" is by keeping wages low, marginalizing non-conformists, stifling any hint of cultural diversity, resisting affirmative action, outsourcing jobs, promoting a police State mentality that ranks CT as one of the highest states of incarceration, driving the American economy to an era of depression, and other such feel good solutions.

Like me, I'm sure you can't wait to see their recommendations for closing the achievement gap.

It should be noted that the panel is...
Led by Steven J. Simmons of Greenwich, who is chairman and CEO of Simmons/Patriot Media and Communications, the privately funded commission will hold hearings, visit public schools, study research, and travel to see how other states have solved the problem.

That's right. Marketing - not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that maybe a person familiar with housing discrimination, social inequality, or say, EDUCATION might be the person to lead the panel. Just sayin'.

But Connecticut's Teacher's Unions are advertising as well. And their commercials prove how bad science education is in this country. In their commercials, they claim small classroom sizes are important to teaching children. Yet no study has conclusively proved any such thing. It's true that it is a pervasive social myth that forces schools to over-staff but there's no science to it.

For shame.

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