Good news lovers of excellence. The future of teaching has arrived and it is for *bad asses* only. What is a bad ass, you ask? Chances are, if you have to ask the question, you are not one and hence not remotely qualified to apply for the following actual job that I have merely copied and pasted verbatim. Lest you think that is something that I am making up, I refer you to the actual job posting here. But don’t delay—bad asses move fast. They know that excellence never rests and that the achievement gap won’t close itself. Continue reading
Introducing a new concept: “whiteousness,” the unshakable belief that one knows what’s best for others, especially those of other races or lower income brackets.
Today I invite you to ponder one of the great questions of our age: How can I pull down some serious cheddar in the name of the achievement gap? How has the civil rights issue of our time turned out to be the source of so many civil wrongs? Last week, a patchwork of groups from across the country filed civil rights complaints claiming that school closures and turnarounds are hurting minority students. In what can only be described as ironical, officials from the same Obama administration that hatched the achievement gap closing policies will now look into the whether those policies have violated civil rights. Continue reading
What exactly are college prep academies preparing students for?
And now it’s time for today’s high-stakes test question: which of the following is better at preparing students to attend and complete college? A. Our union-stifled (and indisputably failing) public schools or B. The college prep academies that are popping up like payday loan services in cities everywhere. The correct answer, as you are no doubt aware, should be B—except that we don’t have so much as a SHRED of evidence to back up this proposition. What data we do have paint the sort of picture that you probably won’t find hanging in the offices of the state charter lobby. What gives? It turns out that the martial-arts style test drilling that increasingly reigns supreme at urban charters may not be the ideal way to prepare kids for college. Continue reading
No one could lead a civil rights movement like Martin Luther King Jr. But let’s face it: the movement he led was old school. The civil rights issue of our time is the achievement gap, and closing it often requires doing the opposite of what Dr. King stood for. Which raises some important questions: if Dr. King returned today would he be an achievement gaptivist? Which billionaires would fund his important work? And with poverty and racism now officially regarded as excuses, what would he talk about? Meet Martin Luther King 2.0, now with more excellence. 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