I can't help but wonder how much closer we might be to deeper education reform in this country if Arne Duncan had led with his No Child Left Behind waiver program at the beginning of the Obama administration.
The scapegoating, unreasonable demands and expectations of bureaucrats and politicians, and a media that has bought into the idea that the "reformers" are what they pretend to be, drive able and talented teaching veterans out of the profession.
Regardless of how one feels about its mission, China's ability to align the myriad aspects of its society around such a clearly defined goal is a major contributor to its current position as an ascendant power.
No jobs package, no matter the size or the immediate impact, is complete without the public education reforms that are essential to ensuring that our students graduate ready to enter the 21st century workforce.
U.S. leaders would do well to seek advice from those countries that still have their AAA rating. These countries' leaders would likely boldly tell us that the best sustainable economic stimulus is investing in education.
Conservatives, liberals, free-market advocates and supporters of big government alike have all agreed to either dismantle or modify how our schools operate. But Rick Perry has entered the room uninvited, and the question is, will he spoil all the fun?
What is desperately needed is a new accountability strategy -- not one, like NCLB, that continues to demand that schools dramatically raise student achievement and then abandons them to flail on their own.