Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Right to an Education

I recently read the outstanding Technopoly, by the late Neil Postman. He points out, among other more important observations about how our infatuation with technology has blossomed into an ideological commitment (some representative excerpts), that we have numerated our understanding and evaluation of society and culture such that we think quantitative studies are somehow more profoundly compelling than our common sense.

Obviously, some social research has led to counterintuitive findings. But this quite serious New York Times article about private schools 'counseling out' (gotta love the euphemism) students the school no longer wants merely added to what even a casual observer of schools really should already know. Private schools can cull their populations according to whatever preferences or desires the school has. Public schools cannot.

I'll admit, in the last few years at my school we have convinced a couple of kids' parents that an online school option might be a better fit for their child. That's as many kids as we've had arrested at school so far this year (4 months). But those two will likely be back later this year.

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