Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Presumed Guilty

I always tell the students that the morning announcements is my favorite show, and in some sense it's true. I love seeing former students, I like knowing what's going on, they have puzzles, trivia, and math challenges; seriously, it's a great way to start the day.

This year we have a new feature as well. Our principal offers "words of wisdom" every day, consisting of quotes and affirmative advice for the students. It's a cool way for her to connect with them daily, and the content is interesting and thought-provoking.

I can't say I always agree with her perspective however, and that presents a bit of a dilemma. For example, yesterday, she spoke about jury duty and she said that because someone had done something wrong, people had to miss work to serve on the jury. It sure seemed like the implication was that whoever was standing trial was guilty from the start.

It might be easier to overlook such a message were it not a metaphor for the education reform movement as a whole. Every school and classroom is swept up in the dragnet of failure, and any protest is characterized as complacency, or an excuse, or an axe to grind.

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