It’s a conundrum faced by nearly every public school parent. You run an organization that puts students first, but sending your own personal student to an elite private school costs a flippin’ fortune. Twenty two thousand large to be exact. And that’s just the start of it. As any public school parent who also sends her child to an elite private school with an annual tuition bill of $22,000 knows all too well, the annual tuition bill of $22,000 is just the beginning. Continue reading
If you have managed to live your life so far without once uttering the expression “cage busting,” alas your luck has run out. The first rule of cage busting is that you have to talk about cage busting—a lot. But what does this mysterious term mean, and from whence did it come? Reader: I give you Dr. Rick Hess, the designated intellectual of the education reform movement, and expert on all things cage busting. Continue reading
Teach for America has raised nearly $1 billion in the last five years to build a pipeline of excellence into the education rephorm movement.
Today’s $1 billion question: how much excellence does $1 billion buy? The answer is muchos, muchos excellence—if you happen to be Teach for America. $1 billion is roughly the amount that TFA has managed to raise in the past five years, earning it a spot on Forbes list of the 200 largest US charities. Even in today’s union-stifled climate of non-innovation, that’s a lot of excellence. A little perspective: $1 billion is enough to pay every one of TFA’s 28,000 alumni a bonus of $35,000, just for being outstanding. It’s even enough to pay each of TFA’s 16 officers six figure salaries—and still have a cool $300 million left over for additional excellence.
For those of you who are new to the fast-paced, exciting world of great edu-idea production, allow me to bring you up to speed. The process starts by convening a great many smart people™ to discuss big ideas™ for solving complicated problems, like how to fix our union stifled public schools. For example, the Daily Beast’s recent Innovators Summit brought together bold, fresh innovators like Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee to offer their bold solutions to “help reboot America, make the world a better place, and (sometimes) even get rich in the process.” Continue reading
What Joel Klein’s “life story” tells us about about Education Reform, Inc.
So Joel Klein’s father was not an illiterate turd farmer who once tore up the pages of young Joel’s only book and smoked them in his corn cob pipe—what’s the big deal??? When you are literally trying to close the achievement gap with your own bare hands, facts have a tendency to stray. The important thing is that Mr. Sidney Harris, the teacher whom Joel Klein credits with rescuing him from a low-expectations hell, inspired Klein to launch his life-long crusade against teachers.
If you’ve missed the latest scandal to rock the hallways of Education Reform, Inc, allow me to break it down for you. It turns out that Klein wasn’t adopted by African American sharecroppers, and that little flourish he throws in on the edu-stump about having dyslexia and being locked in the closet at school only to be freed by a sassy barkeep, midriff barely covered by her parent-trooper t-shirt? That’s fiction too. But the ending, where Klein is hired by Rupert Murdoch, to peddle edu-products to the public schools while playing the part of a high-minded innovator, that alas is all too true. Continue reading