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Back to July Ed Reporter
Education Reporter
NUMBER 198 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JULY 2002

Small Learning Communities: The New Face of School-to-Work
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Plans for Small Learning Communities are being fashioned at the local level through "input gathering sessions" which have predetermined outcomes, a process known as the Delphi Technique. (See Education Reporter, Nov. 1998.) Facilitators orchestrate group meetings and pretend to seek input from business and community leaders, parents, and ordinary citizens. But the outcome of these procedures has already been determined by those who call the meetings.

Facilitators' tactics may include: shaping attendees' responses by asking only certain questions or by phrasing questions in certain ways; holding sessions by invitation only, then limiting those invitations to individuals known to have the "proper leanings"; alienating and ostracizing those who disagree (for dissenting teachers, this may include subtle threats to their jobs); collecting written input, then leaving out the opposition's views from the published results.

According to MREdCo, this is a "common" strategy of central planners and "is used to give the appearance of local decision-making when none exists."


 
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