The Right 4 Questions

Thank you, Roger Tilles for posing these Four Questions, which should guide all policy.

1. What kind of algorithm measures the kind of devotion that we saw and I am sure we would see in crisis after crisis in all of our schools?

2. How do you establish a pre- and post-test for the kind of personal responsibility that these professionals demonstrated?

3. How do we measure the trust that these children and their parents have placed in us as educators “in loco parentis”?

4. What kind of virtual teacher would be able to foster the communication needed to create a trusting atmosphere where learning can take place?

Let us remember these questions as we are asked to develop policies that insure the future of our children and our country.

Roger Tilles, Member

New York State Board of Regents

2 Responses

  1. as a former educator, I’m touched by the depth and thoughtfulness of these questions… Socrates:in every question is the answer.

    rev. mary lou arum

    Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:16:29 +0000 To:

  2. Thanks Deb Meier for bringing up what ploabbry should be the most basic question we should be addressing: What is the fundamental purpose of public education?I believe I wrote the following in response to an earlier post (a couple of months ago) in response to something Diane wrote-first quote below.“What is the primary goal of education? To assure that the younger generation is prepared in mind, character and body to assume the responsibilities of citizenship in our society.” Not quite. There are thousands of missions statements out there, ploabbry at least one for every district and school and more likely than not those are “secondary” statements. What is the primary goal of public education? And where can it be found?To answer the second question first, in each state’s constitution in the article that authorizes public education. So in essence there are 50 different goals/purposes although I suspect that they are similar in nature to what Missouri’s constitution has to say: Article IX, subsection 1a: “A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, the general assembly shall establish and maintain free public schools for the gratuitous instruction of all persons in this state within ages not in excess of twenty-one years as prescribed by law.”I’ll let you decide what “A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people. . .” means. But I do not see anything about “preparing students to assume the responsibilities of citizenship”-whatever those “responsibilities” may be. We have assumed a purpose that may or may not be in concert with what the constitution says so I have concerns with these mission statements that go beyond the basic purpose as delineated in the constitution.Now the “prescribed by law” part can be a problem in that some laws made may be unconstitutional, e.g., segregated schools. And I believe that when we sort and separate students using grades and standardized tests to name a couple of nefarious practices, some of whom then receive rewards funded by the state-scholarships, special treatment, awards, etc. . . , or vice versa, are sanctioned, not getting scholarships, held back, not given a diploma but a certificate of attendance, etc. . . , then we, the public schools are discriminating against a certain class of student, those who through no fault of their own (in essence like skin color) don’t “live up to the standards”. And in doing so we are contravening the fundamental purpose of education and causing harm to some students.

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