I’ve been writing and rewriting a rant about the Time magazine cover story on DC Chancellor of Schools, Michelle Rhee all weekend without producing enough coherence to punch the publish button.
However, I’m still going to add one more thought to the mix.
While the quote from Rhee about not giving a crap about creativity in the classroom has many people worked up, it’s her underlying philosophy of education that bothers me.
Rhee, like so many other school reformers, seem to think that we can improve education by sheer force of will.
If teachers worked harder (and had no union), if students spent more time studying, if administrators were more focused, things would magically get better.
If chancellors could fire staff members at will.
All of this would allow schools to overcome any and all influences from outside their doors – poverty, parental neglect, children’s lack of basic foundational skills, community ambivalence, societal distain for intelligence – to create educated adults.
The only problem is that it doesn’t work and won’t work.
No matter how hard you attempt to isolate the school experience, the real world will continue to seep in.