Failure of the Standards Movement – Research and Opinion by Larry Stedman

Capitalism’s Contribution

  • In the final sections, Stedman makes the case that our problems with schooling arise because it is designed to perpetuate a capitalist system. Students are treated as commodities and socialized to accept alienation and compete for external rewards. At the same time, social and economic stratification is reflected in teaching and curricula. Working class and elite schools stress different learning models. Both perpetuate inequity. To be successful, school reform requires fundamental economic reform. While he ends with a call for educators to join progressive movements and confront capitalism, even conservatives can agree with him that the standards movement has failed and needs to be overhauled rather than tweaked. (Doug: I think that even capitalists would prefer the kind of changes Larry envisions.)
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