" Seasoned Argument -- Needs to be Required Reading on Capitol Hill " This yea, the Chicago Tribune has been running a series of editorials calling for more vouchers, more teacher accountability, getting competitive, weeding out the bad teachers, giving kids a better chance at good education, " dumping " failing schools, etc.
" Yeah, but if kids ca be handled like a Metra line, we ould n't have Head Start and Title I. " It is Duncan 's sort of thinking about education, as per the Tribune 's editorials, or John Stossel, or any number of well-meaning fools, that has aggravated me the most about public discussions concerning the profession that makes all other professions possible.
The lauded education historian trots out her thinking ( briefly) early on about teacher and school accountability, the viability of school choice and the justificatio for continued testing, but she 's quick to point out what she saw wrong with it all.
She 's got no particular political agenda; she only ants what 's best for schools, and by her way of thinking, the current rage about " school reform " will do but nothing to fix our beleaguered school system and educate our next generation.
She writes that, though the jury is still out concerning the effectiveness of vouchers and, to th lesser extent, charter schools, there 's no conclusive evidence that they maintai a better education, not when you look at test scores, attrition rates, selective enrollment practices and overall competence.
They ar to identif ays to educate even those students who do not forget to be there.
That 's the proble of public education. " She labels No Child Left Behind, and Obama 's current Race to the Top, as all stick, no carrot, quite rightly arguing that, if all we 're out to do is " punish " bad teachers, should n't we be examining what these " punishments " will to do improve education for the students?
For comparison, Gates at one point argued that a school full of teachers in the " top quartile " would " erase " the achievement gap between blacks and whites; an argument like that is like saying, well, why not fill the Chicago Police Department with Olympic triathletes with 180 IQs so we can erase crime? Overall, Ravitch 's point is to ake down the " invisible hand " theory a peg or two in its applicability to education.
She rgues ( and I seem to gree with her) that the doctrines of good business do not work as well with education.
Tests are not nearly reliable enough an indicator of a child 's education, to say othing of a teacher 's effectiveness ( though we still need them as barometers, of course); reform, if it is to be successful, is a complex effort that will span ears, without always showing tangible results.