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Re: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act

So Catherine thinks we should turn our attention to national education
policies and knows what is wrong. Michael agrees.
Peg has a different interpretation. Others have different views.
What we agree on is that we are not happy with what is transpiring.

In lieu of discussing what it means if biology and culture are intertwined
in ways that make humans hybrids, and implications of such ideas for
understanding the process of development in highly
industrialized countries, never mind the majority of human kind, it is
suggested we address this problem and stop discussion of all other issues.

How would you who want to shift the discussion have us, in our professional
capacities, change direction so that we are not just purveying academic
drivel for self advancement? With what authority and to what effect?

This is a fine place to discuss such matters. Pick a header and lead the
discussion so that it is effective. Happy to engage.

But at the same time, i *will *complete reading seriously the final papers
of my students, i *will* seek as soon as possible to bring us back to the
issues of cognitive style and education that the paper under discussion is
supposed to be addressing, I *will* continue working with my grad students
over vacation to support the people without food to eat or shoes for their
kids in the housing project which is the center of LCHC efforts for the past
two years, and I *will *continue to try to understand the implications of
our knowledge of
early infant development and its interweaving of cultural and biological
wellsprings of development. In addition to, not in lieu,
of anything.

Kris has asked for concrete suggestions and she is in a position to carry
them into the White house. My suggestions focus on collaborations between
universities and their communities to address simultaneously the problems of
higher education which break my
heart when I am on the UCSD campus and the problems of elementary education
which break my heart when i work with my students in the community. Kris
knows this line of thinking well.

Apart from lamentations, who is suggesting we do what on what grounds?

Back to work.

On Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 9:04 PM, Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu>wrote:

> I really think that this legislation is, among other things, historically
> insensitive.  Do people really think, given our society's history with
> assessment tests, that these tests are not going to be geared towards middle
> class values?  Do people really think that these tests are not going to be
> used to label and differentiate groups?  Do people really think that these
> assessments are not going to be used to in some way reinforce a deficit
> model for children who don't do well on the tests?  The fact that these
> tests are being conducted at such a young age makes these ideas even more
> painful.
> These senators Brown and Franken and Murray have their hearts in the right
> place, but our discourse on education in the United States has become so
> convoluted and narrow and so dominated by a faux realist perspective
> (actually an unholy combination of realist and idealist) that even
> legislators who mean well are I think making thoughtless mistakes.  It still
> pains me that Ted Kennedy and George Miller were major forces behind NCLB.
>  There are many reasons for this I think, not the least of which is control
> of public discourse by a relatively small group of educators - but just
> because you are giving money towards education initiatives does not mean
> that you are helping the cause of universal education.
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of cconnery@ithaca.edu
> Sent: Sun 12/13/2009 10:10 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Obama's Learn Act
> Hi Peg and others:
> Here is the specific language under section 9, e,1,c of the LEARN Act:
> (1) IN GENERAL.-An eligible entity that receives a subgrant under this
> section shall use the subgrant funds consistent with the plan proposed in
> subsection (c) to carry out the following activities:
> (C) SCREENING ASSESSMENTS AND MEASURES.-Acquiring, providing training for,
> and implementing screening assessments or other appropriate measures to
> determine whether children from birth through kindergarten entry are
> developing appropriate early language and literacy skills.
> The question is, "WHO will determine what is appropriate and HOW will they
> assess it?" This goes to the heart of Vygotsky's work.
> Cathrene
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