"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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Monday, March 19, 2012

What Do Readers on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Website think is the Primary Mission of Student Education? It's Quite a Surprise.

2012 ASCD conference logo
What is ASCD?  From the website:

Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. Our 150,000 members in more than 145 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas––superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members.

Our nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association provides expert and innovative solutions in professional development, capacity building, and educational leadership essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. (emphasis added)

If you are a parent and read this explanation of ASCD, you might assume learning was paramount to this organization, and education would be tailored to ensure the success of each individual learner.

View the ASCD Smart Brief from March 15, 2012.  Access "Ed Pulse" on the site where you will find results of an ASCD reader survey.  This question was posed on a separate educational email thread about this survey, "what do these results tell you about the values of public education teachers"?  Do these results align themselves with the organization's mission statement?

  ED Pulse 
What do you feel is the primary mission of public education?

To prepare students to fully participate in the social, economic and educational opportunities of our nation.  44.12%
To prepare students to participate in today's global society.  24.47%
To challenge students to meet their full educational potential.  15.15%
To foster the growth of civically engaged citizens.  7.02%
To master skills, such as analytical thinking and comprehensive reading and literacy.  5.05%
To help learners develop the skills necessary to keep our nation economically competitive.  2.68%
Other.  1.50%
To prepare students for the demands of a 4-year or 2-year college experience.  0.00%
To prepare students for vocational training.  0.00%
Arne Duncan won't be happy when he sees these results.  Every child is to be college ready so the nation can be economically competitive.  These voters list those goals at a whooping 0.0%. 

What does "preparing students to fully participate in the social, economic and educational opportunities of our nation" mean?  Do we want our students taught by teachers and administrators who believe this is the primary mission of education?  This smacks of preparing students for the collective experience, rather than focus on individual goals of "analytical thinking and comprehensive reading and literacy" (answered as most important by 5% of these respondents).

This site is primarily read by educators and administrators.  This would be a good site to visit from time to time if a parent and/or taxpayer would like to understand what these publicly paid employees and bureaucrats really think about the citizens paying for their salaries and benefits.  Maybe it's time for parents and taxpayers to reclaim the schools they pay for if the majority of public school teachers and administrators share the same view of readers in the survey below.  Respondents on this site don't give much credence to parental belief and authority. 

Previous question (01.26.12) on the ASCD site: Should public schools be legally obligated to provide an alternative curriculum to students, whose parents deem objectionable any subject or lesson taught in school?


 As we've written previously, the public education system today wants your children and tax dollars to sustain the system.  It doesn't want your input or direction in student education.  Even if parents have objections in what their student is learning (such as sex education in kindergarten), almost 7% believe the parents have to petition to determine what's appropriate for their child.   Over 85% of respondents believe parental wishes are inconsequential, should not be entertained, the educators are not obligated to alter their particular curriculum, and cause too much work for them. 


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