Authoritarian Systems to Ensure Accountability
Yong Zhao on authoritarianism in education. The US already has an authoritarian system in place. It may seem more friendly in upscale communities but that only makes wealthier citizens more acculturated to an authoritarianism they experience as mild and even necessary. Of course, in many other commmunities, the authoritarianism is not mild at all: police inhabit schools and enforce rules, attendance is compulsory even when schools fail completely, families have no real power while truancy is prosecuted as a crime. In the past few years, compusory attendance laws have been extended in a large number of states for their own good.
From Zhao's essay:Authoritarianism has driven America to admire, glorify, and emulate other authoritarian education systems because they seem to produce “results”—defined as test scores. Instead of valuing what their own educational methods can produce, American leaders envy countries with top test scores in a narrow set of subjects—which is simply a sign of how successfully those countries have homogenized their students. Mistaking China’s miseries as secrets to success, for example, American education pundits and political leaders have been eager to learn from the quintessential authoritarian education system. Ironically, they’ve condemned China’s authoritarian political system in the same breath. #schools #standardizedtesting