Tearing down public schools in favor charter schools, whose success is not proven, can be demoralizing. My favorite line in Hess' piece below is that we need to see ourselves as solution-finders, tool-builders rather than "warriors going to battle with intransigent educators."
BTW, I chose the Aztec image because ripping the heart out of public schools is exactly what many of these "reforms" do, and the toxic rhetoric corrodes the ties that bind us.
Pyrrhic Victories? :: Frederick M. Hess
- Pyrrhic Victories? by Frederick M. Hess • Feb 1, 2011 at 9:40 am
- in a just-published Education Next forum piece entitled "Pyrrhic Victories?," Harvard's Marty West, Fordham's Mike Petrilli, and I ask whether these victories might not ultimately yield bitter fruit
- though support for the reform agenda may be a mile wide, it appears little more than an inch deep
- The 2010 Education Next poll reported that charter school supporters outnumber opponents by a 44-to-19 margin, but the vast majority of respondents don't really know what charter schools are. Fewer than one in five respondents knew that charter schools cannot charge tuition, hold religious services, or selectively admit students.
- The 2010 PDK/Gallup poll reported that, when asked whether they preferred to keep a low-performing school open with the existing staff while providing comprehensive support, to reopen it with a new principal or as a charter school, or to shutter it, 54 percent opted to leave the school open.
- The 2010 Education Next survey found just 45 percent of the public thought teachers who have "been performing poorly for several years" should be removed.
- To quote that wizened observer of politics and policy, Pogo: We've met the enemy, and he is us.
- dismiss concerns that their reforms do nothing for suburban schools or may adversely affect them
- a willingness to see ourselves as problem-solvers, solution-finders, and tool-builders rather than warriors going to battle with intransigent educators. Let us proudly declare: we don't yet know what works, but we're committed to figuring it out, the best we can, along the way.
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