Monday, July 19, 2010

Are The Winds Changing for the Ed Deformers?

What does it mean politically when Mike Winerip suddenly reappears as an education columnist every Monday in the NY Times, which had ended years of the traditional ed columns by the likes of Winerip, Samuel Freedman and Paul Rothstein – all writers who have done critical pieces on NCLB and the general ed deform crowd. To many of then (Rothstein is public enemy number one.)

I'm thinking that the original cancellation of these columns has a political backdrop as does their renewal. A sign that the wind are a changin' for the ed deformers after 16 years of practical experience in destroying urban ed systems.

Today, Winerip goes after Race To The Top with a penetrating column on a beloved principal in Vermont who had to be let go due to RTTT. Leonie has some great comments over at NYCPSP:

No One Safe From the “Race”

Here is her idea for a sure-bet hit:

Hey, how about making Race to the Top a new reality show? Film a few schools each week, and let them compete on whether just the principal should be fired, or the principal and half the staff; or the entire staff should be fired and turn the building over to a charter school! This could make good ratings and the Gates Foundation and/or Microsoft could co-sponsor!

Steve Koss commented:

Disgraceful almost beyond words. Institutionalized blindness is such a tragedy. I'm reminded of the quote (not sure I have the exact phrasing or order correct here) attributed to Albert Einstein: "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

David Bloomfield

The crazy, frustrating thing about the the forces that advocate such "transformation" is that they have defined failure as poor test scores and, even if strategically admitting the definition's deficiencies, insist that 'bold" change is necessary anyway. Defenders of principals like Ms. Irvine suffer big lie accusations of being soft-hearted perpetuators of mediocrity or are patronized as incrementalists. One commentator recently inoculated the whole movement by predicting these stories of excessed excellent principals, dismissed as exceptions. EXASPERATING! Nothing gets in the way of their ideological steamroller.

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