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It appears that some schools in Iowa have adopted a shut-the-door policy, locking their students inside. And that breaks my heart. I would love to say that the scenarios below are just a bad nightmare, but each and everyone of them is done at a school in our fair state. What's worse, it all appears to be perfectly acceptable within the bonds of school policy.
You won't find administrators from these schools on social media. The tech world is the wild frontier of scary. The networks are locked down. They are protecting the kids from the predators, the wolves, and the worst thing of all: new knowledge. The school district is their one-room haven, and their teachers and students are safe from new ideas.
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Using phones in class brings this image to mind for building administrators. It's a mindset. If we divide kids into those who have smart phones and those who do not, what harm can that do?
The administrators are even blocking students who want to individualize their education by taking online classes. Aren't our teachers good enough? What a load of nerve you parents have by looking for more rigorous classes or developing outside interests with your students. Here, we have a nice class for your child in an area that we know s/he doesn't wish to pursue. Won't that be nice? We are the gatekeepers, and knowledge is dangerous.
Kids wanting to take college classes through dual-credit? These schools may allow it, but only if your child can afford to drive to and from the center using their own vehicles. If you're poor, that's a shame. We just can't afford to transport you where you want to go. Strike 3.
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Meanwhile, out in the world of Iowa Education Reform, we argue about Allowable Growth. Reforming the system. Testing. These things seem arbitrary to kids.
In actuality, I find that there are students being attacked by the wolves of ignorance and tradition from within, while transformation can be totally ignored, simply by Shutting De Door.