Thursday, July 07, 2005

More on Business and charter schools

The school of bloggers have just acquired The Emancipatory Promise of Charter Schools, whose foreword relates back to yesterday's musings about Business and charter schools.

The foreword was written by Herbert Gintis, co-author of the very important Schooling in Capitalist America, which set out to show that “education plays a major role in hiding or justifying the exploitative nature of the U.S. economy.” In tEPoCS, Gintis starts to sound like the staunchest conservative voucher proponents (or maybe they sound like him?):
The bottom line is that defenders of the monopoly public school system are simply throwing up smokescreens to hide the simple fact that teachers are loathe to submit themselves to the United States labor market -- a market that most Americans are obliged to live with and that has turned out to strongly benefit consumers.
And then he says something, in an effort to defend the non-stellar average test scores of charters relative to non-charter public schools, that completely threw me for a loop:
Indeed, my work with Samuel Bowles has shown that test scores are not the major way schools affect the future wages and life chances of their students. It is likely that such factors as good citizenship, ability to take orders and complete tasks, and having a long time horizon are what schools really pass on to their charges in addition to cognitive skills.
What?? Isn't this the same guy who argued that schools perpetuate class systems in the U.S. because Business compels them to turn out good workers (who can "take orders and complete tasks") at the expense of really developing their brains?

Gintis, you confuse me. I will post more once I finish the book.

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