More on the failure of “education” in the US.
Or maybe that should be “the failure of ‘educators’ in the US.”
Over the last week, we’ve highlighted what seems to be the growing realization that the education establishment – and that would be the NEA and their union cohorts, the so-called schools of education that produce the idiots who have run our school systems into the tank and the politicians of both parties who support them – is a failed institution. In our first article, about parents in Compton, CA who are using a new state law to take over a failed public school and replace it with a charter school, a spokesman for the California Teacher’s Association, Frank Wells, made this statement…
“Were all the alternatives considered to help turn this school around?”
This, at a school that’s been failing the kids and parents it’s supposed to be serving for a couple of generations at a minimum.
The study, “Are Bad Schools Immortal?,” examined more than 2,000 of the worst-performing district and charter schools in 10 states over five years. It found that very few of them closed, and even fewer – about 1 percent – truly “turned around.”
“So far, [turnarounds] happen rarely and unsystematically,” says Chester Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which released the study. “And nobody to my knowledge has a proven recipe for making it happen in a reliable or predictable or scalable way…. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”
That may be bad news for the Obama administration…
It’s important to note that this report was produced by part of the education establishment and that makes the conclusion rather earth-shaking. As for the “bad news for the Obama administration”? Well, it’s bad news because RexO™ and his party leaders spend a significant amount of time and legislative energy on their collective knees before the educators and their PACs. The education lobby is one of the major funding sources for the Democratic Party.
THIS is a picture of the state of “education” in the US…
Second point from the article, with respect to the gentleman from Fordham, yes there is a tried and true method for dealing with failed institutions, shut the damn things down. The parents in Compton figured that out a long time ago, the State of California just got around to giving them – note THEM – the ability to actually do it.
The authors of the article go on to discuss how hard the problem is to deal with…
“We haven’t actually been investing resources in this question for very long,” says Justin Cohen, president of Mass Insight Education’s School Turnaround Group in Boston. “We’ve been spending a lot of money on light-touch stuff…. I think the conclusion you should draw from this is that you need to try something dramatic.”
Some chronically poor-performing schools probably do need to be closed, Mr. Cohen acknowledges. But others, he believes, can turn around quickly if important elements are truly changed and not just tweaked. And to be successful, he says, districts can’t shy away from political lightning rods such as changing collective-bargaining agreements or the terms of employment for administrators.
In other words, it’s time for an ox goring party. And the ox would be the people who are irresponsible with the future of our children and our nation – teachers unions and politicians who serve them.
They go on to note that both public and charter schools fail and that the closure rate for failing charter schools is higher than for failing public schools. They also note that with charter schools, they are designed to close if they don’t live up to their obligation to actually educate children.
Where I part company with the folks from Fordham is on the action plan. They want to design a new turnaround model that recognizes the difficulty of the job. I don’t like that idea at all. You’ve got generations of families who’ve already paid a horrendous price for the incompetence and failure of the educators who’ve run their schools into the ground, why would we want to extract that continuing payment from another generation? We shouldn’t.
The Compton model is a solution. It requires parents that care about their kids enough to get up and do something – start a petition drive and find a charter school provider – and gives them the ability to actually accomplish their goal of having a quality education for their kids. Another great idea is taking root – hopefully – in Florida. Incoming Governor Rick Scott is talking about a statewide voucher-type program and he’s already enlisting allies in the legislature and has Jeb Bush’s education foundation solidly behind him.
To quote somebody, and in a completely new context, “It’s for the children…”
There may well be good things happening in the land folks. Stay tuned…