I just finished listening to a talk from Mike Feinberg (co-founder of KIPP Charter Schools) at the Education Innovation Summit. In one of his last slides, he showed a black and white historical photo of cyclists. In the center of the picture, you see one cyclist steadying the bike of another and one on the other side lighting a cigarette for the one in the middle. Mike went on to explain that there was a time when we believed that cigarettes improved athletic performance. Of course, we know better than that today.
What are the cigarettes of the 21st century school? What are those elements of the system that are not only present but praised as valuable in achieving the ends of education…and yet, they are actually quite harmful?