Tony Gurr

It’s weekend…..again!

In Our Schools, Technology on 26/02/2011 at 9:15 am

…So, something a little “lighter”!

Maybe not……………….

I started my weekend last night by watching “Waiting for Superman” – Davis Guggerheim’s highly celebrated indictment of US public education and what can be done about it.

Guggenheim reminds us that “educational statistics have names” – and that no matter who you point the finger at – it’s the kids that suffer from a “poor education system”.

I can imagine that many non-US citizens that watch Waiting for Superman will be “shocked” to hear that not all is well in “the land of the free and the brave”.

Many of us “idealise” life in the States, many have been in the “green card lottery” for years, many have been saving up for ages just so we can make that trip to Times Square (and get the photo in front of “that” building) – but when we hear:

  • that only 12% of 8th graders can read “proficiently” in Washington (the CAPITAL – for crying out loud).
  • most US public schools described as “failure” or “drop-out” factories.
  • that educational boards have “rubber rooms” that draw millions and millions away from student learning initiatives…..and
  • that principals engage in a yearly “dance of the lemons”!

I begin to ask – do countries like Turkey have it all wrong?

But, that’s for another conversation……


Depressed – I headed for my iPad (my new “mistress”) this morning! Perhaps, a shot of technology would pick me up (3 cups of coffee had failed)…..

Some of you will know that since the departure of “my big, little girl” for the Big Smoke and a course in Multimedia Design, I have been looking for ways to fill the void in my happy little home.

My newly-adopted son, “Dexter” (an American cocker) is just great – but he falls down a bit in the “learning conversation” stakes!

Could I find “someone” else? Could technology help me find another child to adopt?

A few clicks later…I find my “Haley Joel Osment”.

His name is Milo. And watch his video first….

“Fathered” by Peter Molyneux (this is the follow-up video a year later – see how Milo has “grown”), “mothered” by Microsoft – Milo is up for “adoption” very soon…by “multiple” mummies and daddies!

Darling (hayatım benim, sekerim, bir tanem!)…..would you like to pop up to Panora today? There’s something I need to get from the mall……

Wait a bloody minute, Tony! Scream the collective membership of the AFT and NEA.

Milo is not just another “kid” or a “toy” you buy from a shopping mall.

Imagine him “growing up”, getting a “job” in a school or university………..teaching!

Darling, perhaps we should nip into the “job centre”, instead!


P.S: Did you notice that Milo has moved to the States? Wonder what type of school he is going to – Peter???

  1. But haven’t people always been saying the US education system is going down the tubes? I taught Hannah Arendt’s “The Crisis in Education” to my MA Education students, and that was more of the same, way back in whenever. The main difference that I can see is that what Arendt mentioned about the British system being focussed on producing an elite and the American one being more egalitarian seems to have been reversed.

    • Hi Robin – GREAT to have you on. Maybe it takes a video to bring it home – you know what we are like these days.

      Take care – keep ’em coming!


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