Friday, February 15, 2008

Giving up on The Voucher Band-Aid

While I don't agree with their reasoning, a NY Sun opinion piece and Sol Stern (see article in NY Times) are disavowing vouchers, one of the pillars of privatization. What next? Will Stern admit that his posturing for parochial schools was based on faulty reasoning? That installing a rigorous phonics program will not result in miracles? Or that now that the teacher contract on which he blamed so many of the ills of the NYC school system has been decimated, his theories (based on deep-seated analysis of his experiences with his 2 kids in school), were not valid? Or that "fix the teachers and all will be well" theories will not prove to be valid? Or that the "measure the schools and close them" is a failure as policy? Or that merit pay for principals, teachers, children are gimmicks? Or just maybe things like class size reduction might be an answer.

He and his ilk (ie, Rotherham, Whitney Tilson, Joe Williams - Democrats, I believe) will find out that most of what they advocate are band-aids. Maybe the BloomKlein debacle will turn out to be a long-term benefit in proving them wrong so we can get down to real reforms.

Richard Rothstein has been an advocate (and trashed by the phony ed reformer policy wonks) for a "you must fix more than the schools to make a real difference" philosophy. Call it "rational reform." While this won't be the subject of his talk this time, check him out at Columbia next Thurs. afternoon.

The Campaign for Educational Equity invites you to the Equity in Education Forum:
*REASSESSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP: FULLY MEASURING WHAT STUDENTS SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOL*

Featuring the work of Richard Rothstein who will propose a new approach for assessing student achievement that goes beyond test scores and graduation rates, and measures skill attainment in broad,yet essential, areas, such as social skills, critical thinking, preparation for citizenship and employment, appreciation of the arts and literature, and the knowledge needed to maintain sound physical and emotional health.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
**For more information or to RSVP, please call (212) 678-8362 or email jgarcia@exchange.tc.columbia email

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