Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Walter Russell Mead has an interesting post I don't think would be understood at 222 N. 17th Street.

Fordism was once a term of abuse hurled at the factory system by Marxist critics who, rightly, deplored the alienation and anomie that mass production for mass consumption entailed. Has the Fordist factory system and the big box consumerism that goes with it now become our ideal, the highest form of social life our minds can conceive? Social critics also denounced our school system, justifiably, as a mediocre, conformity inducing, alienating, time wasting system that trained kids to sit still, follow directions and move with the herd. The blue model built big-box schools where the children of factory workers could get the standardized social and intellectual training necessary to enable most of them to graduate into the big-box Ford plant and shop in the big-box store. Maybe that was a huge social advance at one time, but is that something to aspire to or be proud of today? Don’t we want to teach our children to do something smarter than move in large groups by the clock and the bell, follow directions and always color between the lines? 
That's a good description of what the archdiocese's employees are aiming for. I think they have three categories for schools. Category 1 are the good schools. They are good copies of public schools. Category 2 are the adequate schools. They are adequate copies of public schools. Category 3 are the schools that must be closed by any means necessary.

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