Thursday, November 03, 2011

School change must come from outside

My friend added in a PS:


Did you see Arlene Ackerman's recent missive?  She learned her lesson.  To me, this is borderline dispositive (emphasis added):


For the last 43 years, I've served as a teacher, principal, and school district superintendent with the sole goal of helping all children receive a quality education. Much of my career has been spent working in urban districts where generations of low-income, minority children have been forced to attend violent, chronically failing schools. In many communities, our public-education system has returned to separate and unequal. Access to a quality education is the civil rights battle of our generation.


Before my tenure as superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, I had always believed the best way to improve access to quality education for low-income families was to implement needed reforms from within the education system. Recently, I've come to a sad realization. Real reform will never come from within the system because too many powers that be (the teachers' union, politicians, consultants, vendors, etc.) have a vested interested in maintaining the status quo that is failing our children.


Meaningful education reform must be forced upon the system from outside by giving parents of all income levels real choices about where their children go to school. That requires giving parents comprehensive school choice that includes an expanded charter-school system and a voucher program for low-income parents with children trapped in a failing school.


(Ackerman's full article link is below.)

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