Thursday, November 18, 2010

This takes stainless steel ovaries in this day and age...

It's former assistant secretary of ed and author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System Diane Ravitch speaking at a conference in which she lauds the Knowledge Is Power Program and Teach for America but asks them to do some simple things to further help with public education and how it is regarded:
“What I want to say to KIPP, because I really really admire what you are doing. You have an excellent reputation, you get great results. Thousands of new charters will be created in the wake of your success. But your results are not typical. Warn President Obama and Secretary Duncan.... that the wonderful results you get are unusual they are not typical of the charter sector. You must disassociate yourself from the educational robber barons, dilettantes and incompetents who are following in your wake making false promises and delivering a low-quality education to poor and minority children.”

“If I were just graduating from college, which I wish were true, I would surely want to join Teach for America. I understand why tens of thousands of idealistic college students sign up for a two-year term as a teacher in a school serving poor students. I have met many many young people who are in TFA now and I have been impressed by their intelligence, their enthusiasm, their sincerity and dedication.
“But I would urge you please, stop claiming that TFA will close the achievement gap. That may be a nice slogan but nobody can teach for two or three years and close the achievement gap. Closing the achievement gap requires a lot more than really smart and dedicated young people with five weeks of training and a lot of enthusiasm. It requires highly skilled career professionals with deep experience who are willing to stick to the profession.... You send out a false message that your corps of young people is all that it takes and that’s not true." 
If you've got a chunk of time, watch it all.

Thanks to A. Mueller for the heads-up.

Update, 10:40 AM: Incidentally, Adrastos posted some thoughts on the integration of New Orleans' elementary schools fifty years on at First Draft.  Go read.

For a look back by me, go here.  Frantz Elementary, as far as I know, is still sitting there, waiting for the next thing.  And waiting.  And waiting.

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