I seem to run a foul of secret blogger rules of conduct with regularity. An experience six weeks ago has stayed with me and I’d love to read your thoughts on the matter.
On May 6, I wrote, Isn’t It Ironic?, in this blog. I asked why edubloggers, particularly edtech edubloggers, don’t discuss fundamental educational issues, like the fraud and miseducative practice associated with the US Federal Government’s national reading policy.
Many of the most popular, hired and prolific members of the EduBlogosphere (particularly the edtech bloggers) spend a great deal of time, word count and airplane mileage talking about the importance of literacy – old literacy, new literacy, media literacy, superdooper 21st Century Web 2.0 literacy and “literacies” yet to be invented.
Literacy dominates my esteemed colleague’s thoughts about education. Therefore, I find it shocking that there is so little [read: none] discussion of the news that the federal Department of Education has concluded that Reading First, the $6 billion shock and awe approach to literacy education at the core of No Child Left Behind, has FAILED to improve the reading comprehension of American students.
Why the silence among EduBloggers? Is this issue unimportant? Should we ignore the calamity created by Reading First just because it doesn’t mention Twitter, Apture, Ning or other made-up words?
I was criticizing the absence of outrage among the edubloggers I read and wound up incurring the wrath of the blogosphere instead. Non-Americans were defensive in their comments when I was clearly not talking about them. Independent school teachers and educators from affluent school districts protested that they are not affected by Reading First – unless of course you count them as citizens who pay taxes or care for their neighbors.
In the spirit of civility, I did not name the specific bloggers and pundits who were curiously silent on important matters of policy and pedagogy.
I’m wondering if that was a mistake?
My attempt at discretion apparently led to widespread confusion. For that I apologize.
Should I have called out the specific educators with a gap between rhetoric and action?
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.