We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What the author might not understand is that the kids in the Success Academies tend not to be the same kids that the author probably grew up with. Inner city kids and kids from dysfunctional backgrounds often do not arrive at school with the levels of bourgeois impulse control, respect, and orderliness that middle class schools and private schools are accustomed to. To the contrary, these kids are starved for structure. Actually, most people function best with clear structure and deteriorate or unravel without it.
Moskowitz' idea is neither radical nor new. It's the old way.
Dewey was an idealist who, like idealists in general, imagined an imaginary ideal (ideal in their minds) reality. There are no, or extremely few, little John Deweys or John Stuart Mills lurking inside of most schoolkids. Is that news?
No--they are not equal. None should be treated with cruelty, or contempt--but they sure the h^&*l are not equal in values, accomplishments, liberty, creativity, etc., etc.,etc. Sheesh--where did that come from?
I enjoyed physical security in my middle-class public schools. There was adequate discipline to prevent brawls, lunch-money thievery, and classroom disruption. I was lucky for that. On the other hand, the intellectual discipline was light, very much of the progressive-ideal variety. There were accelerated classes for those who wanted and could handle them. If a student wanted to be intellectually challenged, he might be. It really was almost entirely up to him.
I had a friend just over a district border who attended a school run on the opposite principles: hardly any control of physical behavior, combined with rigid attempts at thought control and relentlessly mediocre education offered equally to all. Horrible place.
Actually, most people function best with clear structure and deteriorate or unravel without it.
Sounds like the military. Didn't that used to be a place to send undisciplined young adults?
I realize this is for kids, and it seems pretty good, but the notion of "combine rigid discipline with a progressive curriculum." is concerning. We've seen training like that in the 20th C, and it doesn't end well.
Also sounds like prison. My wife sometimes treats me to documentaries about prison life on the Justice Channel. It's common to see the most hardened gangsters toeing the line in prison, not because of the guards, but because of the gang structures that prescibe what you do, where you walk, who you talk to, and how to behave. I guess structure, like gold, is where you find it.
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