Common Core Critique Creates Critical Questions

Another thought provoking piece in the NYT today. Jennifer Finney Boylan talks about common core and raises an interesting question about the purpose of education: Is it: For some parents, the primary desire is for our sons and daughters to wind up, more or less, like ourselves. Or is it: For others, education means enlightening our children’s minds with the uncensored scientific and artistic truth of the world.

There are many nafka minas to those two views. In terms of Jewish education it seems like the more traditional approach is to promote the first position i.e. perpetuating a community committed to the Torah values of the previous generation. A Modern Orthodox approach includes both positions. That makes it stronger and more complicated, no?

Creativity vs. Safety

This morning Timothy Egan wrote a provocative piece on the NY Times op–ed page. Egan laments the ubiquity of big data as it creeps into every facet of our lives, from Amazon’s aggregation of our buying habits which is used to promote those same buying habits as well as the push toward accountability in schools preoccupied with standardized test scores. Egan points out that creativity is unquantifiable and that our emphasis on numbers may be squashing it or at least ignoring it.  Continue reading