More about the Benjamins
April 30, 2008
Yes, Liam, I do disagree with your interpretation of my post. I'm not claiming to be "post-partisan" or even looking for a "hallowed middle ground." In calling for a much more hands-off approach to public education, where school districts are freer to experiment with all kinds of pedagogical ideas and take risks that will put a lot of people off, I'm taking a pretty definite, and definitely not conciliatory stance.
And to clarify further, I'm simply suggesting that we draw a distinction between pedagogical debates and policy debates. For a while we've debated the pedagogical merits and hazards of paying kids to do x. We haven't neared a consensus, nor have those closer to the actual programs, judging from the press coverage.
Therefore, I argue, our pedagogical arguments having been aired, let's not press policymakers to enshrine either side's preferred course of action in an inflexible, all-or-nothing public policy. Let's let the idea play out in the classrooms and see whether or not it works.