Skoldebatt vi gärna glömmer men inte alla kan

Lärarförbundet och Miljöpartiet gick ut i veckan med ett inlägg i DN som vi i skolvärlden helst bläddrade förbi. Jag ska inte orda mer utan i sak eftersom Helena von Schantz och Jan Björklund redan sagt det mesta som gick om denna tunna gröngrå röra. Vi glömmer alltså och går vidare, och tackar Helena för gott tankearbete.

Debatt kan vara bra men forskning kan ibland fördjupa. I nr 3/2011 av Pedagogisk Forskning finns ett par artiklar som partiföreträdare inom utbildningspolitiken bör ta del av. I synnerhet Elisabeth Hultqvists intervjustudie med lärare, ”Om lärares förändrade yrkesvillkor”. De lärare hon möter vittnar om att kommunaliseringen 1991 som skulle innebära ett större frirum och dencentralisering förbytts i ökad styrning. Fokus på resultat har ökat pressen, vilket ökat sedan 2006 med Björklunds alla reformer i ett läge där svensk skola stått stilla sedan 1980talet och sjunkit i alla index sedan 1990talets relationsinriktade skola. Mer resultatfokus alltså, men också mer relationsfokus – det som Richard Sennett kallar ”intimitetstyrranni ” sedan 1990tal, före internet och sociala medier (se Etik i professionellt lärarskap och en ”semiofficiell” krönika om läraretik på nätet)!.

Hultqvist ser det dilemma som inleddes 1962 med en gemensam skolgång för alla barn utifrån vår meritokratiska värdegrund – de som klarar sig premieras men alla ska med. Paradoxalt. ”Ju mer skolan betonar ‘en skola för alla’, desto mer tvingas den följa upp och dokumentera, klassificera och nivågruppera” (s. 209). Franske sociologen Francois Dubets böcker Faits d’école och Le déclin de l’institutions visar på liknande tendenser menar hon. Med ökade krav blir utopien att alla ska klara kraven på t ex godkänt i grundskolan mer ouppnåeligt än någonsin, men få lärare och forskare vill tala om pinsamheten att vissa inte kommer nå ända fram (Björklunds förslag om korta yrkeskurser på gymnasiet fick dessa förväntade reaktioner). Den avideologisering och avstånd från utopier och auktoriteter som skett i postmoderna teorier sedan 1970 har satt sina spår men att helt avstår från hopp om att alla elever ska klara sig leder till cynism.

Johannes Åmans ESO rapport är viktig för att rätt förstå lärarna i Sverige i detta sammanhang men vi lämnar den till en annan bloggpost för tillfället.

Två övriga artiklar i detta nummer är intressanta, om än inte i lika hög grad som Hultqvists. ”Förändringar i kommunskillnader i grundskoleresultat mellan 1998 och 2008 ” av JE Gustafsson och K Yang Hansen analyserar vad som skett med vissa kommuners skolresultat där vissa positiva tecken kan skönjas men mer grundforskning måste göras.
”Den entreprenörskapande skolan” av M Dahlstedt och F Herzberg är dock mest en tradig disciplinärretorisk kritik av reformer och förslag om företagsamhet i skolan. Att se kunskapers och undervisningens värde i ekonomiskt hänseende är en styggelse och gammalmodigt enligt författarna. Astra Zenecas flytt från Södertälje lär följas av fler om de får råda. Helena von Schantz har också invändningar, liksom näringslivet så visst kan idéer om att öka företagandet från dess låga nivå i Sverige förbättras på andra sätt än diffusa skolämnen som entreprenöriellt lärande. Men som son till en småföretagare och en bonusson som utnyttjade UF maximalt för att skapa flera företag, se här och här , tror jag att vi inte ska läsa mer om begreppet governmentalité av Michael Foucault, även om jag själv översatte denna uppsats till svenska artikelförfattarena refererar till, utan hellre läsa Hayek och Henrekson.

Economic freedom index event


Johan Norberg commenting on Swedish economy

Monday 20 feb, 2012, at the liberal think tank Timbro in central Stockholm, the latest world report from Heritage foundation on index of economic freedom was presented by economist and report editor Jim Roberts.
Sweden’s position at 21 was discussed in more detail by Stefan Fölster from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Johan Norberg.
Both stressed the need for reforms of labour laws and deregulation to stimulate entrepreneurship, albeit Fölster was more optimistic. He viewed the latest polls and voting in southern Europe (sauf Greece) where more moderate calls for tax cuts and reforms to promote business showed that even Europeans are responsible when needed. But Norberg was more pessimistic and saw little action in promoting better business policies and but government spending from the centre- right cabinet.
A good discussion and fun to see Norberg again in his home environment, a former Timbro fellow, now with Cato and an independent writer.

Sweden and its past – a place for ideological innovation

Recently two texts have caught my attention. The first text is the Fokus´ article about the New Moderates usage of Henrik Berggren and Lars Trädgårdh´s thesis about the ”state individualism” in Sweden.The second text is by Nina Samandaji on the Swedish Model reassessed

Both texts try to wrestle the history of Sweden from its social democratic dominance. They seem to say that Sweden was already on its way to the welfare state, building on liberal values, protestant work ethics and market economy. Nima Sanandaji is a young liberal conservative who started his own think tank Captus, while Henrik Berggren is social democrat, looking backwards. Lars Trädgårdh has been associated with the Christian college Sköndal. What divides them is their usages of the new and ideological innovative Swedish history. Berggren and Trädgårdh seem stuck in their preservation of a exceptionalist story of Sweden, even if they broaden the story to be founded on pre-socialist principles. Sanandaji is looking both to the history, but he sees Swedes moving to USA making a better life for them there than other nations. The exceptionalism is not nationalistic. His hope is to the future of Sweden, building on what has changed since 1995 in business life, slimmer government and social reforms to enhance work rather than benefits. Berggren wrote recently a biography of Olof Palme. He has not left him yet. Others have.

Folkpartiets landsmöte

Jag åkte till Karlstad i en oktoberhelg 2011 for att besöka landsmötet inom Folkpartiet. Här finns några rader.

Partistyrelsen lyckades trixa fram ett svar om marginalskattenivåer som räddade FP från en syn på välfärd som alltid ska innebära höga skatter. Märkligt att det 2011 i Sverige upprätthålls att ett samband mellan höga skatter och hög välfärd alltid gäller, även inom borgerligheten. I Europa finns flera länder med lägre skatter men snabbare och bättre vård t ex.

Det blir en grannlaga uppgift att tala med folkpartister om detta men jag ska försöka. Här finns några argument från Timbro om välfärdens framtida finansiering, här om fler företagare (som genererar mer skatt till välfärd) från Fores och här historisk inspiration från landsbygdsliberaler. Bara sätta igång !

Sweden and the Swedes 1900-2010. Outline of book idea

I am currently planning to write a book on Swedish political history and lives in the welfare system. Here is ToC

Table of contents

”Sweden and the Swedes 1900-2010.
The ambition and failure to care for, control and develop bodies and souls”

Preface

1. Samples of welfare state lives and individuals 2011

Part 1 Hubris. 1900-1986.
Introduction

2. History of the welfare state 1900-1986. Myrdals. Statist individualism 19th century. Child rearing, modernity, control.
2.1. Birth of welfare state 1900, 1906, 1932, 1945, 1957
2.2. Critique. Early social democrats, liberals, conservatives. Lindbom, Moberg.
2.3. Olof Palme 1969. LO, wage earners funds. Law 1974. Repressed culture.
2.4. 1976. Centre-right govnt. Crises. Literary criticism (Fagerberg et al)
2.5. 1982-1986. Palme back. Downfall

Part 2 Modern, rational and correct individuals and policies.
Introduction

3. Education
3.1 Schooling
3.2. Higher education and research

4. Gender, families and sexuality

5. Security, clientelism and morals

6. Immigration and integration

7. Foreign policy.
7.1 Säpo, KGB

8. Business and economy

Part 3 Humility. 1986 – 2010
Introduction

9. Economy and politics 1986- 2010
10. Community and individualism.
11. Social media opposition and new liberalisms.
12. Still corrected, still modern, still life
.
Eplilogue

The last part 3 will be hard to picture but little has happend in the lives of citizens that really has given them more freedom. Security is the overall ambition yet. Trying to combine more freedom with individual responsibility is not seen yet.

Lazy but dangerous thinking on 9/11 in Swedish media

The main dailies Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter were cordial but did not go into excuses for Bin Laden’s 10th anniversary today, but socialist tabloid Aftonbladet could not let off a lazy lecture by F Wirtanen. He rants of about Colin Powell’s speech in UN Feb 5, 2003 when the defense secretary explained of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq under Sadaam Hussein. There were chemical, biological as well as efforts to get nuclear weapons from North Korea earlier. Israel bombed already in 1981 a nuclear reactor build the French but Hussein was on the dirty bomb market ever since in  order to get plutonium and technology, just as Libya and Iran was. Aftonbladet cannot stay of the anti American trend in Swedish media and invites the great journalist and writer Jan Guillou later this eve for chat with readers. Guillou wrote a few days after 9/11 2001 that Bin Laden had right demands on the US, but was a fanatic. Guillou wrote en eulogy 1975 on Hussein’s Iraq. btw. . .

The liberal tabloid Expressen is  relativising the number of victims in NY 9/11, almost 3000, in relation to the 35 000 that has been jailed and/or sentenced for terrorist crimes since then. ”Hubris and revenge” characterized the US reaction after 9/11 the commentator writes. Yes indeed, revenge after the largest number of dead at any single terrorist attack is quite understandable. This kind of comparison is also taken on the death toll of Afghanis and Pakistans due to terrorist attacks which now go over 20-30 000. Many commentators write as if the US started the war by responding to the attacks, not the opposite. Truth is that Al Queda started the war on terrorism by 9/11  (and a lot earlier already by 1993 but leave that for now) and the South Asians and Middle Easterns should blame their Saudi villain for their problems and deaths, not US.

Simply Evil. Christopher Hitchens states the facts behind the attacks ten years from today.  The role of the intellectual is to introduce complexity into a discussion, the Hitch starts but goes on. ”But what I learned in a highly indelible manner from the events and arguments of September 2001 was this: Never, ever ignore the obvious either.” Blair says similarily that  it was ”deeply naive” to believe the west’s response had radicalised extremist Muslim factions.

US did not deserve 9/11, nor did it start the following war on terror but was forced to react and no one can deny that the Al Queda and similar terrorist networks and states (including Hussein’s Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Quadaffi’s Libya and to lesser extent Venezuela and Cuba) were and are threats to freedom, stability and human dignity. The leftist defence of dictatorships culminated in the post 9/11 frenzy on security and surveillance but must be blamed for what it is: lazy and dangerous thought. Swedish media makes this day harder to bear, not lighter.

Debating school legislation in Delhi

 Aug 10, I was moderating a discussion on teacher accountability through the Right to Education Act in New Dehli, India. I had done this last year many times as associate director of the School Choice Campaign at Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi’s best and oldest liberal think tank.

It was good to see friends again and the discussions were familiar matter to me.  Sorry to note, the well reknowed educationist Vinod Raina could not attend the discussion. He was instrumental in shaping the RTE Act. I had already interviewed him last year for the Student First Magazine, but alas could not see him this  time.

From the minutes taken by the new young SCC team:

”Chaired by Jan Sjunnesson, former Associate Director, School Choice Campaign with Surendra Nath Dubey, President of All India Awardee Teachers Association and Shashank Shukla, Teach for India Fellow, Chairman at Gurukul Education Society and member of the National Advisory Council Working Group as panelists, the discussions explored the means through which the RTE Act addresses the issue of teacher accountability and looked at possible solutions. Jan outlined the major problems in relation with teacher accountability before introducing the panelists. He summarised the principal problems in India such as the absence of teachers and the shortage of educators that the government is facing while trying to implement RTE Act. In addition he mentioned that the RTE Act is vague on the issue of teacher accountability. He commented on the lack of a direct correlation between teacher salaries and student learning outcomes in India.”

Keep up the SCC spirit guys and gals  : )

Jan Sjunnesson skriver om politik som om det fanns en frihetlig patriotism och om kultur som om det fanns ett liv bortom politiken.

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