The power of blather

Read this oped on Education’s future: the power of wonder by Peter W. Cookson Jr., dean of the graduate school of education at Lewis and Clark. Then explain what it means in 25 words or less. Do not win valuable prizes.

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  1. Base our education strategy on the new state tourism slogan. Redefine educated to mean feels celebrated and supported. Stop talking about facts and focus on cultural competency. Make educators the keepers of culture. Pay them more.

    (That’s 36 words, but it’s OK, because I’m a dreamer.)

  2. In 25 words or less:

    Public education should not be held accountable
    since this could make some of us feel bad.

    I wouldn’t want to bust his bubble by telling him
    that the scientific discoveries that he’s gurgling
    about were made by people that would do well on
    those stultifying standardized tests, but no doubt
    these discoveries would have been even greater had
    the people responsible retained a sense of wonder.

  3. mike from oregon says:

    Allow me to explain, afterall, I do reside in the same state. If you actually read his statement you realize, ‘… there is a disconnect between his mouth and his brain…’

    We have far too many loons like this here.

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    There’s more to an education than scoring high on the state’s mandatory tests.

    13 words

  5. “Dude, I scored some great weed last week in Ashland. I could, like, see all the great ideas everyone was having … it was radical!”

    1 word to spare!

  6. the wonder of power: wonder if anyone is looking (9 words)

  7. You guys are way too wordy.

    “Give me more money.”

  8. “I’m an asshat who can’t make a coherent argument in spite of the fact that education is my profession.”

    I win.

  9. Richard Nieporent says:

    It means that if there are other people like him who are deans of graduate schools of education, then the future of education is bleak.

  10. Can I take a stab?

    More money = better schools.

    Will that work?

  11. We’re all unique and special people, but those individuals who are less special and have jobs and money should pay for the special wonderful people who don’t.

  12. I live in Louisiana, perennial occupants of the cellar in education rankings. To me this means that our kids will be passing up Oregon’s before long.

  13. to be fair, there are nuggets of wisdom within: so my summary might be a little more upbeat.

    What should a school for the next 50 years look like. How does one best measure accountability for the long haul. The world wonders. (24 words)

  14. chris haynes says:

    read his bio and welcome to Lewis and Clark or here
    Northeastern Liberal!
    Do URL’s count as one word?

  15. PEBCAK: Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard.

    Standard systems analyst jargon. There is, most definitely, a disconnect. We weep for the future of education in Oregon. Darn… I like driving through it, too. May have to start taking the long way through Idaho.

  16. As it turns out, every Oregonian has at least three bold ideas and original insights a day.

    … with the exception of the author.

    My wondermeter is reading zero here.

    In one word, “uhhhh?” Is that even a word?

  17. M. J. Wise says:

    Accountability is such a pesky “buzzword.” I can’t wait till they just give up this silly little ideal of expecting measurable results and just shovel in more money to the schools with nothing expected in return.

    Oh, and I think this guy’s mission can be summed as “Compulsory education through age 30, oh, and more money”

  18. Scott Thomson says:

    “Mo’ money.”

  19. As far as I can figure out, here’s the gist of the article: “Teachers should build students’ self-esteem rather than disseminate knowledge.” (10 words)

    This leads to the logical conclusion: “Schools should be disbanded.” (4 words) After all, schools were originally conceived as facilities to disseminate knowledge, what with the books, the desks, the boards, and so on. But self-esteem enhancement can happen anywhere. So why do we need to pay for these expensive facilities?

  20. “Three bold ideas and wonderful insights a day”. Yeah. My wife used to be in the startup company finance biz, and she was always telling me how afraid founders were that their ideas would be stolen. Her (diplomatically phrased, of course) response was always roughly “Ideas are a dime a dozen. What count is *execution*.”

    Oh, the article summary: “We need much more money in order to produce much less qualified citizens.”

  21. Bill Leonard says:

    I found several points of wonder!

    I wonder what he means by “cultural competency.” Does he mean that all children now grow up in an MTV vacuum, and have no idea whether they’re male, female, protestants, catholics, jews or buddhists. or whether their native tongue is American English, Urdu, Pashtun or Lakota?

    I wonder what he means by a 19th-century education, which by all accounts was pretty good. My grandfather had a 19th-century educaztion that extended only to about fourth grade — but he could calculate the board feet of lumber in a wagon or on a truck quickly and with only a few key measurements. He also wrote intelligible, if plain and inelegant, sentances. I don’t think this fool could calculate anything. And, we have ample evidence of his sentences.

    And I wonder how much money this useless fool is paid to oversee the miseducation of potential teachers attending Lewis and Clark.

  22. chris haynes says:

    said fools email addr

  23. Wish-power can turn aggression into original ideas of great value, since everyone is equal in ability; they need undiscriminating insight facilitators, provided by taxation.— That is my reading of the unspoken premises and conclusions.

  24. “I’m the Dean of a school of education… and you’re not.”

    That’s eleven words.

    What nobody here has remarked upon, in the course of mocking the dean (*), is that a newspaper actually published this drivel. If this editorial says something about the intelligence of this Dean, or lack thereof, what does it say about the editor that chose to include this column in the paper? Is the entire state of Oregon so retarded that the Oregonian didn’t get even one coherent submission for the space? (Of course, if that is the case, that also traces back to the dean of the graduate school of education, doesn’t it?)

    (*)Don’t get me wrong; the dean is mockworthy.

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  1. Keep teachers out of education colleges

    Accountability does go deeper. It goes to the bottom line, if you allow bottom lines to define success and failure of schools. It goes to parents who can vote with their feet when their child’s school’s report card doesn’t measure up.