Standards as Political Footballs

Standards as Political Footballs

One comment

  1. Robin

    I’d never considered the KIPP “slogan,” but my first impression was a gut reaction. Working hard and being nice are extremely difficult things to do in concert, even for the most composed and “disciplined” adults. It called to mind the focus required to exert physical strength, for example. Or the emotions that boil up when a task like writing, calculating or designing are interrupted. Compelling “niceness” in the context of mental, physical, and emotional (learning to do the work of mediating emotions in social context—hard, hard work for many adults) work feels very suspect. I cringe at the image of masses of nice workers: no questions raised, emotions veiled by compliance, learning masked by a rote-memorized set of “acceptable” manners. Nice emerges when understandings are reached and equilibrium is established on a plane of acceptance. I am very suspicious of a learning institution where it is placed on a banner or put upon children as an expectation. Thank you for the insight into myths of meritocracy, and the contemporary economic & political lens on the problematic “hard work and nice” lines of thinking. (Please pardon the excessive use of quotes in the face of no option for italicizing.)

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