Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Our Schools Must Do Better

Wow, this is an amazing op ed by Bob Herbert in today's NY Times, highlighting the importance of teacher quality (and calling for robust ways to measure this) and championing "alternative school models" (read: charter schools), with a great plug for KIPP:

The second area to be mined for potentially transformative effects is the wide and varied field of alternative school models. We should be rigorously studying those schools that appear to be having the biggest positive effects on student achievement. Are the effects real? If so, what accounts for  them?
The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), to cite one example, is a charter school network that has consistently gotten extraordinary academic results from low-income students. It has worked in cities big and small, and in rural areas. Like other successful models, it has adopted a longer school day and places great demands on its teachers and students.
Said Professor Kane: “These alternative models that involve the longer school day and a much more dramatic intervention for kids are promising. If that’s what it takes, then we need to know that, and sooner rather than later.”

October 2, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Our Schools Must Do Better
www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/opinion/02herbert.html <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/opinion/02herbert.html>

I asked a high school kid walking along Commonwealth Avenue if he knew who the vice president of the United States was.   He thought for a moment and then said, “No.”

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