As previously mentioned, one of my heroes in education is businessman Jamie Vollmer, author of the book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone: Building Public Support for America’s Public Schools. He coined one of my favorite terms, “nostesia,” a combination of nostalgia and amnesia. Whether changing from conventional A – F grading system to standards-based grading or from a traditional calendar to one spread throughout the calendar year to prevent summer learning loss (or the “summer learning slide”), this term fights to defend and maintain the status quo.

Millions of Americans argue, often vehemently, that today’s schools are dreadful compared to the temples of learning that existed in our golden past. In their view, we all would be better off if schools could just be the way they used to be.These people are suffering from a debilitating mental condition that I have named nostesia: a hallucinogenic mixture of 50% nostalgia and 50% amnesia that distorts rational thinking. I have created the following equation to quantify the severity of an individual’s delusion: A x O = NQ. A represents a person’s age. O is number of years he or she has been out of school. Multiply these together and you get NQ – the Nostesia Quotient. The higher a person’s NQ, the more advanced the disease and the less likely the person will respond to reasoned argument. Mitigating factors exist that can reduce a person’s NQ. Aggravating conditions exist that can increase it. If, for example a person works in a school, or actively volunteers, we can divide his or her total NQ by 2. On the other hand, if the person is running for political office, multiply by 5.

Source: Nostesia | Jamie Vollmer

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