For the past month or so, I’ve been the big old meanie who could love the messenger, but hate the shallow superficial condescending message of the wonderful Dallas Independent School District 5th grader and web video star burning up the YouTube charts.
You can read my concerns and see me flamed by educators deeply moved by the performance despite it having been created by the school district’s cynical desire to exploit a talented young child for central office propaganda purposes here. Can anyone else recall a school district writing a script for a kid in which he admonishes professional educators, rehearsing him for months and then placing the video on the district’s web site along with a calculated public relations campaign?
I wonder if Dalton Sherman’s appearance on the Ellen Show was an approved school absence?
Well, guess what? Young Dalton’s performance was indeed – dare I say? – lipstick on a pig.
While I still receive emails telling me that I MUST watch this amazing video on YouTube, the Dallas Independent School District is laying off 1,100 employees, including 400 teachers lectured by the fifth grader.
According to Education Week:
More than 400 of the lost jobs include teachers in the core subject areas of math, science, social studies and English.
Perhaps the school district would be well-advised to focus on fiscal management and education, rather than stagecraft. At the very least, Dalton’s next speech could be to the legislature asking why his teachers are prohibited from union organizing.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is 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.