Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Womb Testing

Updated 12:25pm, Feb. 2, 2010

See piece in NY Times by Susan Engel, Playing to Learn.

How far can we be away from pre-birth testing? I can just see it. Someone comes up with a standardized test where certain phrases are read into a future mother's belly button and a stethoscope is placed in strategic areas to read the unborn baby's responses.

This thought came to mind last night at my wife's retirement party at the Water Club where a couple of people with kids in the first grade, one in a public school in Queens, were talking about all the homework their kids were bringing home. One of the ladies present asked if they had play things in their classrooms and both parents said "No." I chimed in that no elite private school where people like Bloomberg sent their kids too (Spence in his case) would allow such a system to engulf their children.

As we hear the refrain of "separate and unequal" coming back into vogue when describing the education kids get at hedge fund drenched charter schools vs. the public school, often in the same building, one point made is that the children at both types of school are children of color, with the lottery winners getting the better end of the stick. But the basic test driven education goes on in both types of schools.

Not so in the halls of elite private education. where the idea of test driven is laughed at. Wealthy people spend $30,000 a year to assure they keep laughing.

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