A young MBA student tells her classmates that “education reform” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Many of my classmates in business school assume that education reform is a good thing. Accountability! Improvement! Closing the Achievement gap! Usually they know some Teach for America alums (who are now lawyers), or they’ve watched “Waiting for Superman.” They’ve heard of charter schools (which of course they didn’t attend), and being business-minded, they assume that privately-run schools will somehow be better. Because many of my classmates will go on to be business leaders, decision makers, employers and parents, I think it’s important that they understand what education reform is really about. Here’s what I tell them: Continue reading
Reader: it is rare indeed these days that we encounter the kind of feel-good news story to which we can tip our collective wine boxes. Today’s episode of ‘we lift our wine boxes’ comes to us via New Jersey. I am referring of course to the feel-great story of 27-year-old Education Pioneer and Jersey Boy Wonder Andrew Buher who has just been named chief operating officer for the New York City schools, the nation’s largest school system. But who is this young man whose meteoric rise has been nothing less than meteoric? Are Education Pioneers the new Boy Scouts? On what will he spend his new $200K salary? And is a total lack of experience the new black? Continue reading
The best way to enhance the excellence of our public schools is by closing them.
It is a well-known true fact that the fastest way to improve schools in order to launch students on a path to 21st century prosperity is to close them. In fact, nine out of ten advocates of closing schools in order to promote enhanced choice and excellence have found that choice and excellence are enhanced when schools are closed. Unfortunately, closing a school while the students are still inside can prove difficult, especially in this era of putting students first. Continue reading
Elitism and the education reform movement
Like many of your fine states, Massachusetts is now home to a veritable alphabet-soup of education reform groups, albeit a can in which the letters FER seem to be somewhat overrepresented. Just yesterday, for example, a reader sent me a notice from a new chapter of a student reform group at Tufts University, headed up by a young equestrienne whose own secondary education came courtesy of a $33,000 private school. She is helping to mobilize the next generation of education reform leaders by reaching out to fellow students who “[h]ad a bad public school experience” and are interested in help[ing] out in charter school events around in the Boston area.” Continue reading
By Nancy L. Bloom
Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh is right about one thing. His ideas about education really do make me uncomfortable—and it’s not just because I’m a staunch supporter of teacher unions. His recent assertion that Massachusetts should lift the cap on charter schools in order to save the children who live in poor, urban (that means black) neighborhoods by providing longer school days and years is simply faulty. Continue reading