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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

GRIT(S):  NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST?


Anyone who grew up in the oil patch of West Texas or eastern New Mexico, as I did, can only find all this talk about "grit" hilarious!  Grit as the key to students' learning? Grit as the cure for the "achievement" gap?  Oh, my!  When I hear "grit," I feel tiny grains of sand in my teeth, I smell a dust storm sandblasting my cheeks (I was in my twenties before I found out some people pay to have their skin evened out by sandblasting -- we got smooth skin by walking across the playground), and I see the tenacious line of grit coming in around windows -- seeping through weather-stripping and the ugly, added seals of masking tape.

Stinging eyes, sandy eye lashes, having to dust the furniture every day -- sometimes more than once and always with a wet cloth, not a fancy polish:  grit everywhere everyday.



"Grit" as the latest "cure" to what ails US education is silly at best, tragic at worst when it diverts our attention -- and, as Politico reports below, our dollars and our policies away from what we really need to be doing for kids:  addressing poverty, investing in teachers' salaries and on-going education, and dismantling the harmful testing systems and corporate "reforms" that are sucking the life out of learning.

And as for measuring grit, easy:  brooms full, buckets full, hands full, windowsills full, eyes full.  Instead of romanticizing grit, let's call it for what is is: "Grit:  what you need when you don't have a trust fund."

Thanks to Diane Ravitch for sharing this from Politico.com:


1 comment:

Howard Phillips said...

'Instead of romanticizing grit, let's call it for what is is: "Grit: what you need when you don't have a trust fund." '

Ten out of ten for this one !