Nikhil Goyal examines the flawed US school system, bringing to light a lack of democracy, still-legal corporal punishment, and neglect by the media and presidential candidates. Goyal's book is "Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice" (http://goo.gl/sYtI3A).
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Transcript - I found it really quite odd that in the 2016 presidential election there’s been very little talk about K-12 education even though there are over 50 million people in our society that are affected by the decisions made by policymakers regarding public education. And I think what happens, what we’ve seen especially in the media in the past couple of years there has been a massive discussion around issues in education. I wish that the presidential candidates would address these concerns. And there’s been issues around charter schools and standardized testing and teachers unions and pay for performance. There are documentaries such as Waiting for Superman, The Race to Nowhere, The War on Kids. And so there has been quite a bit of discussion around education but I argue that some of the discussion has not been as authentic and rich as it could be. What the media journalist often frame the conversation around education is charter schools versus against charger schools. Pay for performance against pay for performance. Are you for standardized testing or are you against standardized testing. And I obviously believe those are important issues and they need to be talked about and debated. But there is a more important issue I think that is above all these kind of issues all together which is the American education system and the structures and the anti-democratic nature of this system.
And I think we have not talked about the teaching and learning practices of American schools. Why is it that 18 year olds who are about to go to college have to ask permission to use the bathroom for example? Why is it that corporal punishment is legal in 19 states in this country? Why is it that children have very few freedoms and rights in school? There was a study done by Robert Epstein, a psychologist and another psychologist who found that schoolchildren are put under two times as many restrictions as inmates imprisoned. So they have very few freedoms and autonomy in schools and nobody’s talking about this. Nobody’s addressing these concerns on a national scale. And so I think obviously we need to talk about standardized testing and charter schools and the like. But we also need to address the learning and teaching practices of modern schools. And why is it that schools have largely remained the same ever since their inception in the 1850s? So those questions I think need to be posed to our policymakers and I wish people like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton as well as the republican candidates – I mean Donald Trump has talked a little bit about issues around common core. But even on the democratic side I think there has been an astonishing lack of discussion and an agenda around K-12 education and I strongly urge the presidential candidates to discuss this issue. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/prjTw5.
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