Friday, September 3, 2010

TCHR is a Four Letter Word

I love words. To me, finding the mot juste is a joy. As a result, ed blogging has been a problem.

You see, the ed deform crowd has absconded with all the good words. Take, for example, the word accountability. The deform people use that word to perfection. "Who could be against accountability?"ask Klein and Duncan and Rhee and Obama. The word itself gives their unreasonable demands an air of reason.

Even the word reform works wonders for these people. Who in their right mind is against reform? I mean, don't we only reform things that are in need of repair? Aren't the reform folks just trying to fix education? Our use of the word "deform", while appropriate, just doesn't have the same ring.

All this came to mind as I was reading Leonie Haimson's post about the hypocrisy of the BloomKlein regime. The sentence that struck me most forcibly was the concluding one:

Despite all their claims, this administration could care less about providing proven educational reforms such as smaller classes, in their zeal to waste money devising more damaging experiments on our children.

That's exactly what's wrong with the deformers! They know how to fix education, or at least should know, but they keep coming up with new education experiments to conduct on our children. When I read Leonie's sentence, I was immediately reminded of the powerful word vivisection, which means to experiment on live animals. I tried to come up with a word we could use to describe education "reforms" that would bring to mind images of Klein covering the mouths of kindergarten students with chloroform-soaked rags. I tried "edusection", but that failed to trip off the tongue. "Vivication" sounds more like a place you'd go on mid-winter recess to recharge your batteries. Talking about giving students "reformaldehyde" seemed too much of a stretch.

The other idea I came up with was the portmanteau word "pedagogery"--a perfect blend of pedagogy and demagoguery. That seems to me to encapsulate the entire deform movement. My kick against that word is that it's too long; it lacks the elegance and simplicity needed to catch on with the public (the heads of most Daily News readers would explode upon reading it).

I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone have a word (other than expletives) that can help us define the deform movement in the same way they've made "teacher" a four letter word? If you do, please comment.

6 comments:

ASTRAKA said...

The whole experience of the education reform is "Kafkaesque".

The Reflective Educator said...

I like pedagogery, although I think you're right in saying it's not simple enough. Perhaps amongst educators it could catch on though.

Pogue said...

"Stupification" - the act of dumbing down and destroying the ideas of concepts, knowledge, and critical thinking. We have got to stop these ed reformers from imposing their stupification policies on our children and society.

Anonymous said...

'Reverse Kafka' ('Rev-Kaf'): gigantic cockroaches dreaming they are mere humans vulnerable to pangs of conscience, good will, reason, truth, and financial downturns. [Or 'Rev-Kompf', reversed head, in reference to blood-engorged ticks that turn away from their usual hosts to suck the life out of education]

Anonymous said...

How about Educimate a cross between education and decimation.

It describes what the ed deform types have done, and are doing to public education.

The results of educimation can be called imbecilication.

Cheers,

Angry Nog

Anonymous said...

Sorry, two floors up, should read 'Rev-Kampf' nor 'Rev-Kompf'.