Home > Uncategorized > Connecting the Pieces: Open Source, Big Data, and the Origins of the Common [sic] Core [sic]

Connecting the Pieces: Open Source, Big Data, and the Origins of the Common [sic] Core [sic]

April 9, 2014

You’re on the money with this overview… but there are some unintended consequences that might result. Here’s one dystopian scenario: It’s not inconceivable that parents will not only opt out of tests, they will opt out of school altogether. States have weak and virtually unenforceable home school requirements… and the real money to be made is not in curriculum development but in TESTING. So Pearson, for example, might approach a state where parents are opting out of SCHOOL in greater numbers and pitch the idea that their tests should be used in lieu of a submission of a “plan of studies” or whatever lame requirement is in place at the State level. The states, starved of resources by the lack of government funding, will welcome this and pass the costs of the tests along to the homeschooling parents. Eventually public education will devolve into a DIY fee-for-service enterprise for, say, 20% of the population… another 40% will use some form of vouchers to enroll in private, sectarian, or for-profit charter schools… and the last 40% will remain in what we currently think of as public schools. This will achieve a lot of the ends desired by the business community: there will be money made in testing, in the for-profit charter sector, and in avoided taxes as voters reject school spending on the grounds that only a few kids attend school— and since the kids left in school are the children of voiceless and disenfranchised no one will care. The likelihood of this trajectory increases as long as we define “good schooling” as “high test scores” based on age-based grade-level groupings… and for that reason we need to de-couple “schooling” from “testing”.

Bob Shepherd | Praxis

800px-Japanese_camera_for_surveillance_2How educational publishers PLAYED and PWNED a nation’s educrats and politicians

(A term from the gaming world, pwned, a blend of pawn and owned, is a neologism meaning “achieved total control and/or domination over.” If an opponent uses you, against your better interests, to achieve his or her own objectives, or if you are obliterated within seconds of the beginning of game play, then you have been pwned.)

The last state has now pulled out of the proposed national database of student responses and scores. Those who were horrified at the prospect of such a privately held, Orwellian Total Information Awareness system for K-12 public school education, one that would have served as a de facto checkpoint and censor librorum for curricula, are cheering.

But don’t think for a moment that Big Data has been beaten. I am going to explain why. I hope that you will…

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