If we're to believe the internet, Google Search is now the arbiter of what's going on in schools in America. The above image depicting a search for the phrase "school makes me" has been floating around lately—even making it to Cheezburger. One commenter over at the education blog Dangerously Irrelevant even had this to say about it: "Sad state of affairs that it has come to this. Time to grab the bull by the horns and change this image!"
There's no denying our schools are hotbeds of bullying that can leave students feeling sad, depressed, and stupid. And, there are plenty of education reformers, like those behind the Covenant to Help Inspire Learning and Development, who are looking to revolutionize schools so that they "nurture each child's great curiosity, interest, and potential" so they can, "achieve high levels of success."
But should we all jump the hyperbolic shark and assume that this means our entire school system is an epic failure? Not necessarily.
If I type in "technology makes me," I get these search results:
Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. But look what I get:
What pops up for Facebook (which you likely have an account with)?
Not to pick on technology and its associated minions too much, how about happiness?
So if, according to Google, even happiness is going to make me sad and fat, well there is no hope for any of us. Perhaps we should also be questioning what the impact of Google's personalized search—since 2009 we only get the results our search history decides is best for us—is on these results.
To be sure, there are challenges in our schools, but overgeneralizing them and painting every school, teacher, and student with the broad brush of negativity doesn't help anyone. Internet, we can do better.