Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Two Cheers for Germ Theory -- A Comment

The Huffington Post published an article by John Thompson titled "Two Cheers for GERM Theory of School 'Reform.'" I stimulated in me the following thoughts that I posted on the Huffington Post.

I think there are two separate “charter” school issues, one for the affluent, one for the impoverished. We can talk all we want about competition, but I think most who are doing the talking come from the more affluent group, the group that already has access to good schools.  For the poor, I have no doubt that the charter school movement is being fueled by desperation, and not just desperation over their children having “good schools,” but desperation over the sheer survival of their children. I live outside Camden, New Jersey, in the suburbs. Do I care that my children went to public, not charter schools? Not really. They were all afforded educational opportunities to launch them into life. I have my criticisms, particularly over homework policy, but not sufficient for me to get excited about the charter school movement. Yet in my professional practice as a psychologist, I meet citizens of Camden every day. Their stories are sadly commonplace, to the point that I can predict before they speak the murder of a father, uncle, nephew, cousin or son, perhaps a few. For them, charter schools are not some esoteric or academic debate but a matter of survival against powerful forces which are outside their control.

Dr. Kenneth Goldberg is a clinical psychologist with 35 years of professional experience in dealing with many different psychological issues. He is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers and currently works in his own private practice.

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