Monday, March 1, 2010

Obama touts The MET and Big Picture Learning

Irony of ironies

President Obama
heaped praise of The MET School in Providence, R.I. and its Big Picture Learning initiative today, in his Grad Nation speech. He singled out the Met Center as an institution that offers the kind of individual instruction to students that is necessary in order to effectively target the drop out crisis in the United States.
“That’s why we’ll follow the example of places like the Met Center in Rhode Island that give students that individual attention, while also preparing them through real-world, hands-on training the possibility of succeeding in a career."
The irony of the presidential MET endorsement lies in the fact that the school is the anti-model for current administration policies and programs. The MET is a small-by-design school with a curriculum based on student interest. Its educators shun standardized testing in favor of performance-based assessments and the whole idea of tying teachers' (called advisors at The MET) to student test scores would be anathema to the whole MET approach.

Adding to the irony is the fact that both of Chicago's Big Picture schools were ordered closed by then Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan as part of his Renaissance 2010 school closing crusade. It seems they were "too small," wanted too much autonomy, and their test scores weren't high enough.



    Beware, beware of the handshake
    That hides the snake
    I'm telling you beware
    Beware of the pat on the back
    It just might hold you back

    Your enemy won't do you no harm
    Cause you'll know where he's coming from
    Don't let the handshake and the smile fool ya
    Take my advice I'm only try' to school ya

  2. Seriously, I want my vote back.

  3. Even though Obama seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth, this all shows that there are real internal issues bubbling up. ESEA reauthorization will turn the fire under the pot even higher. We need to find a way to make use of these obvious contradictions between Obama's words and Duncan's deeds. Now is a chance to push for changes in NCLB.

  4. Yeah, good thing nobody told him about The Met's math NECAP scores. They're even lower than Central Falls'.

  5. My concern is that right now, I don't see a clear way to combat what's going on. I'm just so frustrated by the way the message is being controlled... and yes, I regret my vote, my time and my work. My wife was a Hillary supporter, and I'm wishing I had been too.

  6. The Democratic Party (including the Clintons) owns all this privatization and testing crap as much as the Republicans. Getting your vote back is not answer. On education, there was (is) no difference between Hillary, McCain and Obama. NCLB was a bi-partisan train wreck. Doing something now, at ground zero, is more important. We elected Obama, but aren't making him answerable.

  7. Everything Obama learned about diplomacy he learned in kindergarten and it is us, the Americans who are paying for him not learing good lessons in the childhood. Hope his putting America on the path of "set a good example and others will follow" philosphy works!


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.