In Oklahoma and other states, market-driven school reform has failed. It is a wounded bear. A wounded bear is more dangerous, however. In their last gasps, national corporate reformers are counterattacking. As competition-driven reformers come out of the shadows, however, even more stakeholders will rally and defend public education.
There is no question of the cancerous effects of groups like PennCAN and the Commonwealth Foundation. It may be years before we know the full range of the damage they have inflicted on our children and schools or how long it will take to repair that damage. One thing, however, is clear: Philadelphia teachers and students deserve our interest and support.
Art and music convey important skills that often are overlooked. Researchers have long touted their positive effects on student brain growth and development, but the exercise of those skills in artistic pursuits like band and chorus adds a whole new dimension of teamwork, perseverance and commitment.