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We now have a generation of “teachers” raised up by a national policy that configures high poverty classrooms as streams of revenue.  Everyone is busy racing to the top of nowhere and leaving almost every child behind in the process.  These are students not receiving any opportunity even faintly equal to, or resembling that which is extended to those living and learning in America’s most affluent conclaves.  But that is okay with us because it is as it has always been.  Jane Addams would say that we are overdue for a new conscience on an ancient evil.  Do we agree with her and do we move into the ghost of Hull House to join her in the work of dismantling the deranged arrangement?

 

When children are objectified by reckless testing mandates, reduced to data points that add up to some lucrative budget number and shoved into corners of standardized curricula that never coincide with their lived experiences, they rebel.  It is as simple as that.  That rebellion is a healthy reaction to an inhumane itinerary across the stripped-down territory of the have’s and have-nots. 

 

Storage closets have a way of giving up secrets and the one I invaded was overflowing with shelves of bright, yellow Judy Clocks, GeoBlocks, trundle wheels, meter sticks, Cuisenaire rods, scales, Dienes Logical Blocks, Napier Rods, graph paper, measuring tape, tangrams, abacus, symmetry mirrors, thermometers, pendulums, geometric figures, stopwatches, globes, calculators, geoboards, attribute blocks, hundreds boards, unifix cubes, array boards, measuring cups and graduated cylinders.  On paper, the invoices must have looked good to some bureaucrat somewhere in the stratosphere but down on Mother Earth these math investigations were stashed away to insure that the “crazy classroom” was never transformed into a busy, lively, exciting engagement.

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