Cheating

I was a Phoenix last year (FML), and the fact that the following exists:

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I refuse to provide a link to these bastards. I’m sure you can find them.

says a lot and is not surprising at all.

First, no, you’re not allowed to get mad because they’re committing fraud. That’s too obvious.

Second, no, you’re not allowed to get mad because they’re screwing the curve for all those grind-nosed honestarians out there; the curve was going to screw half of them already.

You should be ultra-kamayamaya pissed because this is what school really is and some douchey entrepreneurs finally pointed it out.

We’ve bred an entire crop of people who think school is something to finish. That learning is somehow terminable.

The value system here is that getting a grade and being done are more important than learning, and we have no one to blame but the absolutely ludicrous system of grades and classes that we call school.

Solutions:

Work that can’t be faked. Work that is personal. Work that actually results in creating someone who is a better job applicant, or, God forbid, just a better person.

What does this look like? I’m not doing it perfectly, but it looks a lot like my University course, where I’ve canceled the lectures and just scheduled a bazillion small-group conferences. Each group ends up with a totally different project, some ranging from simple observations of classrooms, some all the way up to research on specific inquiry techniques.

What does this look like? It looks like students writing to their future employers about the failures they endured while they came to understand how light is both a particle and a wave, or some other such investigation.

Blogfolios and BlueHarvest have taken over my classroom.

What does this look like? It looks like having a school with no grades and pure competencies. It looks like having a school with no schedule. It looks like deciding what courses kids have mastered, after they finish mastering them.

Update: It looks like a local community college is going to put credit behind the School for the Boredom-Averse. Woohoo! More on that soon.

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