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: