A truly brilliant idea for fixing America's inner city schools has come out of Washington. Kwame Brown seeks to recruit top teachers to low performing schools by freeing them for two or three years from the district's oppressive IMPACT evaluation system.
Imagine it's early morning, 20 minutes after the school bus was expected. You are waiting with your children when an old yellow clunker, its rear emergency door hanging open, weaves toward you. The driver has a pint of whiskey in one hand.
'Virtual classes' qualify as blended learning, because most of those kids are enrolled in traditional high schools. That's a growth industry: Just a few years ago only eight states allowed virtual courses or schools; today, nearly 40 states allow it.
Schools will never realize the power of technology until they get out from under our current way of holding them accountable. We need accountability, but what we are now doing is stifling learning and teaching. It's making public education worse, not better.
Schools do not teach what isn't going to be tested, and they do a bad job of teaching a subject when all that matters is the test score. Treat a human being as little more than a number, and the results are predictable.
Madeleine Albright said a special place in Hell was set aside for successful women who refused to help other women succeed. An even hotter spot should be reserved for those who knowingly cheat children out of a decent education and lie to them about their achievements.
Our public schools are the equivalent of yesterday's pony express. Just as a faster pony express would not be sufficient to deliver the mail today, the "faster horses" that reformers represent are not in themselves adequate for our 50 million school-age children, nor will they ever be.