These are really hard words for me to write: Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray deserves a lot of credit for improving education in his city.
Chancellor Henderson and her team of teachers and administrators are on the right track, and they deserve as much support as the city and community can muster to stay the course toward improvement. Now is hardly the time to destabilize the system once again by forcing a different reform plan.
I will not defend every school of education and every professor that works there, but I know we are not "the problem" with education in the United States.
As someone who has spent much of my life teaching, or writing about education issues, I thought, why not? It wasn't one of those polls where they were surreptitiously trying to sell me a product--or were they?
The vulture reformers -- who have proven adept at raising corporate money and implementing market-based reform through complete mayoral control -- have forgotten that teaching boils down to the interpersonal.
On one side are the forces of egalitarianism, economic opportunity, and self-determination. On the other is a well-funded and entrenched elite bent on hijacking our media, our political process, and our institutions, for their selfish ends.
If the Waltons really wanted to make positive change in children's educations and lives, they would steer far clear of Michelle Rhee and her troublesome track record.
There was no DC miracle. Browbeating students and teachers into raising scores on state tests only makes them better at taking state tests, and reforming our schools in hopes of replicating an illusion is a petty crime against humanity.
As a teacher who is an innovative and outspoken advocate for education and educators, and who takes his profession very seriously, I have only one thing to say to Jeff Bliss and his now historic rant: Bravo, Jeff.
In his view, it isn't an anti-gay bill but a "mental health bill" that says that school officials must "notify parents or legal guardians in the manner specified by law for such a medical referral" if a child is, among other things, suspected of being LGBTQ.
While Michelle Rhee had an impact on education reform and helped to bring it to public attention, at this time the controversies surrounding her clearly indicate she is not the right person to be a leader.
It's some excuse making rolled up with some happy PR talk: "We love gay and transgender kids!" But there's no concrete promise of making any changes to their criteria for honoree selection or their fundraising efforts or really any action at all, promised or delivered.
I guess it's enough that the only kids John Ragan supposedly stands up for are the heterosexual kids. The latest version would have forced select Tennessee school officials to notify parents of children who privately discussed their sexual orientation, essentially dictating forced "outing" of kids.
Testing scandals will continue to persist if the structure of the present school system doesn't change. Here are the 5 main problems that help nurture this culture of cheaters.
John Merrow's article "Michelle Rhee's Reign of Error" produced the confidential memo warning Michelle Rhee of the extent of cheating that may have occurred in Washington D.C. schools. Merrow's "Who Created 'Michelle Rhee'?" pushes the conversation further.
Instead of results, we have gotten rhetoric, and our children have fallen further behind. It is time we adopt policy solutions that match the depth and complexity of the problems and address them head on.