Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama on education...

In response to Len's question, here's what I think is Obama's most extended statement on education. (It would have been more appropriate to respond in comments, but I couldn't have embedded the video that way...)


Freedom_Road said...

With Obamas war of hatred against America in full swing, and escalating, there isn't a whole lot of humor going around about his presidential dreams these days. Being Americas greatest enemy from the inside isn't anything anyone can find a happy future in. And America is only beginning to pay the price for his life in Washington DC that is still only speculation at best.

Susan Laird said...

Thanks to Kathleen Kesson for initiating this inquiry, to Leonard Waks for insisting that it be taken up, and to you for posting this video.

I found the link from Leonard's post somewhat more heartening, though hardly yet as substantial as anything like IT TAKES A VILLAGE was many years ago. We can hope that with time, McCain's and Obama's talking points become more fully fleshed out for some serious public discussion (and even some "complicated conversation" such as Kathleen invited) over the next three months.

In order for that to happen, though, I wonder if public intellectuals could somehow push the candidates to acknowledge the NCLB's historical roots in the War on Poverty. NCLB is heavily abridged and doctored legislation of an earlier era, initially progressive legislation from which NCLB has stripped the "village" part of the educational process, in effect economically disabling it through an essentialist understanding of education as schooling in quantifiable bytes of information. In a Deweyan spirit, somehow, wouldn't we be smart to push the NCLB debates beyond NCLB toward a more practical critical look at whole communities as educative or miseducative environments for children, their parents, and their teachers? It is "hatred against America" in pursuit of greed that reduces schooling to such a pitiful testing game, perhaps "America's greatest enemy from the inside." Keeping the public education debate stalemated on NCLB shows an utter lack of Deweyan imagination and endangers the very possibility of a "happy future" for the next generation. We need ad hoc innovations of myriad sorts to break out of this ideological stranglehold on the concept of public education. I know this complicates the conversation.