Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Postscript to the story about Project INSTRUCT installing "mastery learning" in Nebraska in the 1970s, according to p. 204 of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Iserbyt:
The then-assistant superintendent for instruction for the Nebraska Department of Education, Ronald Brandt, raved about the program. It is very possible the state department assisted the Lincoln Public Schools in obtaining the big federal grant, and approving and organizing the mastery learning system -- no doubt using the rural schools around Lincoln as guinea pigs.
Anyway, no surprise here, if you watch educrats for long: Brandt went on to become the ececutive editor of Educational Leadership, the publication of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
They call that "the revolving door." The educrats all like to "innovate" on the local or state level with a new "program" and then use it to catch a higher-paying, higher-status, national job. But meanwhile, back at the ranch, the "innovation" makes education worse, not better, for kids. Into the fray comes ANOTHER educrat who installs ANOTHER bogus "innovation" and ALSO uses that prestige to land a cushy bigger job -- while nobody realizes the new program doesn't work, either.
See who's left holding the bag?
The ASCD is one of the most influential education organizations in the world. Everybody who's anybody gets its publication. Through that pulpit, Brandt helped promote outcome-based education (today's "standards-based education" -- they changed the name when everybody hated it, but didn't change what it does) and its gurus. All of them were quoted reverently in Nebraska, and many came here to speak and lead workshops with Nebraska educators, no doubt referred by Brandt, throughout the 1990s as outcome-based education (OBE) became entrenched here.
So former Nebraskan Brandt was a key player in morphing our school systems into becoming government nannies instead of institutions of education.
WAH, WAH, WAH.
But do not despair. We can change this. Living well (with traditional schools free of OBE) is the best revenge.
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