Thursday, April 12, 2007

NCLB and Monopoly - who's left behind and why?

Thanks to Mike Klonsky's Small Talk blog for keeping us updated on the 'Ownership Society' and corporate agenda in public education and the challenges for Small School organzing and advocacy around the country.
Recently, I have been thinking about the all-American game Monopoly after seeing the recent Sopranos episode [one of the best ever] where the mobsters and their wives compete in a Monopoly game which ends in alcohol-induced mayhem. But Klonsky's blog touches on Monopoly's relationship to Capitalism and the ownership society by highlighting Florida teacher/libranian Richard Morrill's excellent EdWeek piece:

Monopoly, a game and a metaphor for the Ownership Society

Richard Morrill, a librarian and teacher from Sumterville, Florida has a great commentary in the latest Edweek, "Monopoly and No Child Left Behind." He uses a game of monopoly as a real and metaphorical lesson about the Ownership Society. Morrill, who spent 10 years in social-democratic Denmark, gives his perspective on the differnce in attitudes between Danes and Americans, towards the concepts of equality and freedom and the way each country looks after its less fortunate citizens.

Americans say that no child should be left behind, and they seem to think that education is the key to ensuring that children are not left behind. There seems to be little understanding, though, that the schools alone cannot equalize opportunity for children who come from homes and neighborhoods with very different socioeconomic characteristics, nor that schools may, unintentionally, but by their very nature, widen the gap between more-advantaged and less-advantaged children.

Read Morrill's excellent piece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Opporunity versus outcome. Whose job is it to ensure that equal opportynity translate into equal outcome? If it is the school system then parents need to hand over thier children at an early age and get back when they are adults.