Like you, we are thinkers. We think all the time, even over-think. Lately, we have been trying to think less. Trying to get at solutions through subtlety. Today, in honor of April Fool’s Day, we considered a couple of fun and foolish post ideas, i.e. David Coleman under consideration for Republican Presidential nominee for 2016 or some key players in the Common Core under federal investigation for conflicts of interest. Even though any press can be good press, we prefer NOT to arouse federal investigation ourselves.
We also considered Onion-ish headlines, such as “New tests released to test whether students are ready to take tests,” or “IV Drips with Glass Bottles Decorated to Look Like Angry Birds Eliminate Lunch, Increase Instructional Time, and Increase Green Ratings of Schools.”
In the end, we still suspect that a subtle and humor-laden solution, or partial solution, to the present educational testing/accountability quandary exists in the universe. We just haven’t found it. Perhaps, your genius can help. Here is some fodder on which you can ruminate in your own think tank and turn this April Fool’s Day into April Smart Person’s Day. Here’s a potential reading list for you to study as you think alongside us. You, we are sure, have other titles to add to the syllabus. Please, share!
1. Watch this TED Talk by Chris Bliss on humor and affecting change. Can we use this kind of thinking to change the educational landscape?
2. Read the first 50 or so pages of The Seven Life Lessons of Chaos. In particular, be sure to read “Lesson Two: Using Butterfly Power.” How can we exert butterfly-like influence around the egregious aspects of educational testing and accountability? How do we work smart?
3. Read Herbert Kohl’s essay on Rosa Park’s influence. Think about the way the Civil Rights Movement was organized around Rosa, before, during, and after the bus boycotts. How do we engage in the radical work of seeing the ways that accountability-extreme impacts all children?
Where does that leave us? We don’t know. Are we foolish to think change is possible, and that we, along with you can help bring it about? We don’t think so. In the meantime, did you hear about the teacher in California who was put on probation for teaching students to do close readings of each other’s palms?