Who Defines Education?

Americans are very attached to our ideals of equal rights and equal representation. We’re also fond of the idea that anyone who works hard enough can enjoy the American Dream.

But the shine on our American Dream has tarnished a bit. The President of the corporation I used to work for loved to talk about our Meritocracy. The concept that people succeed due to merit makes the extreme wealth divide more palatable, especially when you’re at the top, looking down on those you’ve out-merited, but it seems to satisfy a lot of people near the bottom, too. There is great comfort in believing that your destiny is in your own control, and that you have as much chance as anyone around you to succeed. All you need is to work hard enough. Continue reading “Who Defines Education?”

Submission, Diagnosis, or Delinquency

Most people assume that school has a positive effect on the lives of its students, but that isn’t always true. It can also be very harmful. I suspect the negative effects of school aren’t always acknowledged, in part because these stories are prone to being buried under shame and embarrassment, or they’re pushed aside to minimize their toxic effect. I know this because my own stories can’t always be told.  The stories aren’t mine alone, and I generally have to think carefully about the possible effects their telling will have. I’ve come to understand some things very well, though, so whether it is through my own stories, or those of others, I hope to share what I’ve learned. Continue reading “Submission, Diagnosis, or Delinquency”