Diane Ravitch writes:
Two nations were influenced by our thinkers and example:
Finland and Chile. Finland learned its lessons from John Dewey. Its schools are child-centered. It prizes the arts and physical education. It has no standardized testing. Its schools are noted for both excellence and equity. It is a top performer on international tests.
Chile learned its lessons from Milton Friedman. It has vouchers and testing. Its schools are highly segregated by social class. The quality of education is highly dependent on family income. Students in Chile are rioting to demand
free public education. No one considers Chile a model. Which direction are we going? Why? Whose ideas are dominant today?
Ravitch asks the right questions.
Canada traditionally opted for Dewey, that is equality, common good, solidarity and invisible bonds which held us together.
The present Harper Tory government out of synch with Canadian social democratic values would love to pry open the education field to the highest bidder. It is a market government which is frustrated by our love for publicly funded health care which it is continually nibbling at on the fringes. It knows it will be electoral suicide if it goes after our one payer system.
It however has legitimate children in the provincial sphere. We look at the ugly Harris government which included Flaherty, Baird and Clement, demolition experts of the common good. It now has Tim Hudak attempting to make market inroads in Ontario,