Writing in Salon, a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette offers three “mildly heretical thoughts about American education”, telling us Don’t believe the education “reformers”.
First, given the impossible assignment we’ve given them–an egalitarian mission in a nation rapidly growing more stratified by income and class–American public schools are probably doing a better job than they ought to be. One big reason is greater professionalism among teachers.
Second heretical thought: Very little good can come from treating teachers like part-time cashiers at an underperforming Wal-Mart outlet. I was moved to this observation byÂ a sad, mordantly funny accountÂ by New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip about Tennessee’s brilliant new, Obama-approved scheme for teacher evaluation.
Third heretical thought: All educational Miracle Cures and panaceas are wrong, and many who push them are charlatans–starting with the ubiquitous Michelle Rhee. Schools get better when communities get richer, rarely the other way around. Remember when charter schools and vouchers were going to save the world? There’s no evidence they’ve out-performed public schools.
Read the whole thing. It would be nice if more of the people trying to lead American education would as well.