No wonder schools of education are so screwed up

Rarely does anything surprise me in the newspaper these days. I do have to say that this article expounding on the benefits of the “Cuban model” was pretty surprising. What made it even more shocking was the fact that the author is a professor in the College of Education at Eastern New Mexico University (based in Portales). If communists like this guy are hanging out in Portales, I can only imagine what the education departments in Santa Fe and Taos must be like.

But enough about the author, what about the actual argument that Americans should look to Cuba as a model? First and foremost, it is hard to understand why so many Cubans have escaped their “socialist paradise” and “people first politics and economics” over the years in favor of coming to the United States and other freer nations.

While I know that the author would say that gross domestic product is not a useful measuring stick, it is also useful to note that Cuba’s is ranked 109th in the world. That is not exactly a stellar performance and it is maintained in part by reliance on Venezuelan oil.

I do agree with the author on one thing: the US should end the embargo. But I believe that a flood of US tourists and dollars would be the death knell for the Cuban state as it exists. After all, the embargo is the catch-all excuse that Fidel Castro and his brother have used as an excuse for their nation’s poverty. Taking it away would clearly show that the emperor has no clothes. Besides, free Americans should be able to travel wherever they are welcomed.

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2 Replies to “No wonder schools of education are so screwed up”

  1. Programs that provide advanced degrees in Education (Masters, PhD) are totally ineffective in improving education outcome:

    “Schools divide students into various subgroups for testing purposes: Hispanic, Asian Pacific, Native American, English Language Learner (ELL), students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students. States consider math and reading test scores to determine student proficiency. Provisions of NCLB require schools to test at least 95 percent of the student population in each subgroup to determine student proficiency. Subgroups with fewer than 25 students are not included in determining the overall proficiency of students.
    No direct relationship can be seen between students test results and the level 3 teachers or teachers with advanced degrees.”
    from: Report to the Legislative Finance Report, Review of Selected Operations of APS October 26, 2007

  2. The article referenced works hard to criticize american society (and capitalism) by highlighting what the author would consider “worthy” people-first cuban programs. Perhaps there is an educational policy we can copy – I do not think capitalism prevents our society from wanting to improve or from adopting successful programs. I would like to see a deeper response from you than merely an economic freedom ranking and using the word “communist” in a name calling fashion in your writing (and I say this in anticipation of an excellent response). Let’s see something focused on the issues and problems in the article (sustainability, generosity, education, the hungry and homeless, crime and prisons) – a civil rebuttal/commentary disputing the virtues of cuban society and/or appreciation for what the U.S. gets right would be more helpful and interesting.

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