Educating Workers or Leaders?

Today’s Boston Globe carried a thought-provoking article by Renee Loth, titled “A Needed Lesson in Citizenship”.  The current emphasis on stripped down, regurgitation of facts that is necessitated by preparing students (and now teachers) to deal with high-stakes testing has quite the trickle down effect: science, critical thinking, social studies…. all of these highly needed learning experiences have been given the short shift for years.

Loth quotes Charles Quigley, executive director of the Center for Civics in Education saying

 country is “focused more and more upon developing the worker at the expense of developing the citizen.’’ The result, he said, is a group of “vulnerable, less-empowered’’ Americans at the mercy of political spin.

By vulnerable and less-empowered,  Loth goes on to point out

Informed citizenship should not become a luxury reserved only for those with elite educations. But with so much emphasis on teaching marketable skills, subjects like civics get shortchanged in most public schools. The danger is a bifurcated society with a “labor class’’ and a “leader class’’ that is inimical to the very idea of democracy.

Marketable skill. Labor class/Leader class. Education for the benefit of corporate America. Disengagement of citizens when their participation in our democracy is so essential.

Frightening?  Click the Globe link above and read and decide for yourself.