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dixie pomerat
still making the progressive case for open-access educational resources (formerly known as schools)
still making the progressive case for open-access educational resources (formerly known as schools)

dixie's posts

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thanks +Sheldon Hopkins 

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Truancy Should Not Be a Status Offense
Criminalizing truancy just doesn't work..

Punitive responses to truancy, however, are fast losing favor. There is a greater focus on finding school and community-based solutions, as Vera’s Status Offense Reform Center, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, and other groups are sharing ideas about how to develop effective status offense systems that draw on evidence and best practices, and keep kids in school and out of court.


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Forcing students with a criminal record to "check the box" ensures that the inequality of the criminal justice system will be replicated in higher education.

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Homework: The Research Does Not Support It
At what cost do we pursue this? Lost sleep and strong mental and physical health, family stress, boredom ... thanks +George Station 
And the result of this fine-tuned investigation?  *There was no relationship whatsoever between time spent on homework and course grade, and “no substantive difference in grades between students who complete homework and those who do not.”*
Alfie Kohn takes a radical path: looking at actual research conclusions, not what others say about the conclusions.

#homework #grades #math #science #k12

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Unschooling Lessons for Schools
A Vancouver educator sees lessons for schools drawn from unschooling. I think one of the most fundamental is first, do no harm, 

I think the conversation about unschooling could become one about how to transform school structures to create more humane and liveable learning contexts for both students and teachers.


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Eliminating College Tuition: Not a Unicorn
Demos lays out ways the US could do more than eliminate tuition with the money we already spend.

Instead of simply eliminating tuition, we could do so and provide community colleges with an additional boost in overall resources. Remember, these are institutions that have far fewer resources and are spending the same or less per-student than they were 10-15 years ago – a far cry from the caricature of colleges with lazy rivers and fancy wine cellars. Or, because borrowing at community colleges goes far more to living expenses than tuition, we could better target Federal Work Study money, and continue to provide Pell Grants to cover basic living expenses. The point is, it could be done, and at a lower cost to the federal government than the current system.


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Big Money & Schools
Compulsory attendance laws shaped our public system, eliminated the voice of the people within the system itself, and allowed easy access by corporate money. Changing that power dynamic, returning power to families and children is vital to democracy and essential for healthy communities in a time of change. From the link:

I have read with interest the dialogue between Marc Tucker, Diane Ravitch, Anthony Cody, and Yong Zhao on the establishment of an American test-based public education accountability system. Forty years of research on the impact of political structures on social systems, in particular public education, leads me to categorize Marc Tucker’s rhetoric as nothing more than political cant to protect the lucrative profits of poverty “non-profit” industry that is bent to the will of the powerful rich donor groups that are dominating education policy in the US and UK. [...]

It is the PR discourse of big money that shapes the lives of teachers and children in public schools, and confounds the lives of families with young children struggling with the grimness of developmentally inappropriate instruction in public schools – instruction that rejects all that we have learned as a society about child development, how children learn language, become literate, and engage in math and science projects to both discover and solve problems. Knowledge gained from the sciences and the lived knowledge of human experience, the very essence of our human story, no longer counts. [...]

When an ideological elite joins with the economic and political forces that control what human beings do, it is important that we confront our illusions and expose the myths about what is happening in K-12 public education. The very existence of NCTQ is a clear indication that we live at a time when the pressures on educators and children in K-12 public schools are reaching a tipping point.

#schools   #neoliberalism

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Libraries Provide More Than Books
I shared a profile of educational activist John Holt and he often referenced public libraries as a model for the way people easily learn by accessing resources. Libraries now do much more than check out books, and in some nations and states, these services are increasingly necessary.The post at the link discusses how Czech librarians are learning from US counterparts, and vice versa.

We have much in common with our colleagues in the Czech Republic, with an abundance of knowledge to share and inspiration to be gained from across the ocean. In the United States, the Czech Republic, and anywhere in the world, education is more important than ever. This means that libraries are more important than ever, because they provide equal opportunity of education for all. 


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John Holt: Homeschooling Pioneer and Visionary Progressive
A very good review of John Holt's life and work emphasizing the progressive side of the homeschool movement still unacknowledged by education activists who want to define a progressive position as being for K-12 as it stands with more money so everyone gets a good test score. Holt wrote deeply about poverty and schools and social change as this post discusses.

Though initially supportive of “traditional education” Holt wrote that he came to view the very design of the institution of school as inherently at odds with idealist objectives including critical thinking and moral equality. Holt argued it was absurd to think that a place “where we coerce, bribe, wheedle, motivate, grade, rank, and label [children]” can be the same place they learn to “resist advertising men and behavior modifiers.” [6] Forsaking the institutional credibility he had been given as an advocate for reform, Holt made himself a principled outsider in denouncing the dominant education institution. [...]

If not traditional schools then what? In Instead of Education Holt promoted and discussed alternative means of exchanging ideas and cultivating learning in a humane manner: “non-compulsory schools, learning centers, and informal learning arrangements in action.”[9] Holt suggested the public library as a “very good model” for those seeking an authentic, organic learning experience. The virtues of the library, he argued, include: its open availability without stipulations for attendance; that it had no testing component, no grade ranking, and no dictation of what must be learned. [10] [...]

Today progressive politics is almost unthinkingly linked with support for the institutionalized K-12 education system. For example, a cornerstone of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive agenda is a full-day universal pre-k program. Meanwhile homeschooling is presumed to be inherently conservative, fundamentalist, and regressive. In addition to being overly simplistic such associations fail to acknowledge the anti-authoritarian, democratic, progressives thinkers such as Ivan Illich, Paul Goodman, and John Holt who feared the schooling system was a corrosive tool of power. Such associations also fail to acknowledge the progressive lineage of the homeschool movement.

#johnholt   #schools   #homeschooling   #unschooling  
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