"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pete Seeger's "Little Boxes" (Ticky, tacky) describes Missouri education system

Who would have ever thought a 1960's protest song would so eloquently describe the sad fact of Missouri public education? First, read this letter on the common core standards and the edict that teachers will no longer control his/her own test protocols.


We've now lost control not only of the curriculum, but also the testing. Think about the ramifications of that fact. Your State Board of Education and local school district have become irrelevant. We are controlled by the Department of Education in Washington, DC.

Now let's get to the second part of this posting. Here is a video of Pete Seeger (written by Malvina Reynolds) singing "Little Boxes":


It's a song about conformity and the perils therein. We seem to have made quite a circle, however, about just whose conformity we're facing today vs. 1964.

Setting: early 1960's. Suburbs were being built, houses looked much the same. I would guess Reynolds was protesting against the social conformity of the time and uses the newly emerging suburban sprawl to make her point:

"Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes
Little boxes all the same"

Setting: 2010. Common core standards and federal controls of state education systems (which is unconstitutional) are implemented in Missouri. I believe we are being forced to accept educational conformity dictated by the federal government. Reynolds not only refers to physical conformity, but "thought conformity" as well:

"And the people in the houses all went to the university
Where they all were put in boxes, little boxes all the same".

There you have it. Our children have been put in little boxes, to learn all the same things, to be tested in the same way, and no individuality or critical thinking is permitted. Except the song is wrong. The people in the houses don't have to go to the university to be put in a little box; it now starts in kindergarten.

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