Mis-education nation

The news that six Jefferson County high schools were among the 10 lowest-performing public schools in Kentucky is bound to ignite the usual back and forth debate about academic achievement, standardized testing and teacher performance.

When the state’s Department of Education has announced that the schools will face an audit that could result in major restructuring, and JCPS officials immediately rejected the “failing school” label.

If a national debate about public education is pending, perhaps this animation adapted from a speech delivered by Sir Ken Robinson, a world-renowned education and creativity expert, will shed some light on the subject. It challenges conventional wisdom on all sides and shakes things up a bit, because there are basic perceptions about academics and intelligence and teaching that we are leaving unchecked.

And Robinson concludes it’s an outdated system that won’t serve us well in the 21st Century.

Check it out (h/t New Albany Confiential):



  1. Philip DeLaney
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    There is significant truth here – and the weight and momentum of the current education system will crush this like a small grape. As a parent of children in the 6th grade and kindergarten and having moved to Louisville from another state (with lower educational rankings – which narrows it down a lot), I have watched the creativity squeezed out of them like milking venom from a snake. “Color inside the lines!”, “Your opinion is worthless because I am the teacher!” – having heard these and other similar statements over the years only convinces me that the education system is broken. Our counter-balance? The arts. As much as possible and sacrificing as necessary, only by maintaining an active participation in the arts do we feel like we are preserving the creative spark in our children. Performing arts school – wonderful. Museums – without fail. Plays, operas, and concerts – as much as possible. And, for the record, I’ll bus them whereever necessary to get that education, too. I don’t like 60-75 minute bus rides, but I’d rather do that then have a 10 minute walk to school to turn my kids into drones.

  2. Puhn Tang
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Would it be too much to ask that kids can read the diplomas they are handed? How about when the diploma is held out with the handshake on stage that the kid is asked..What’s 64 and 17 and you have 15 seconds and you can use fingers and toes. GO.

  3. Philip DeLaney
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree – in fact, it should be noted that students who have had something approaching the “education in the creative paradigm” referred to in the video tend to perform much higher on tests of reading and mathematics achievement. It’s an open question whether this is a causal relationship – do kids with high “creative” ability see and process things in such a way that understanding of literature and mathematical concepts comes more easily? I certainly don’t know. However, could the education system be improved by encouraging creative thinking and rejecting a single-minded approach towards linear thinking? Almost certainly….