Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Time's St. Joan

"We must start with the recognition that, despite decade after decade of reform efforts, our public K-12 schools have not improved. ... It is most crucial for our political leaders to ask why we are at this point--why after millions of pages, in thousands of reports, from hundreds of commissions and task forces, financed by billions of dollars, have we failed to achieve any significant progress? ... Lack of effort is not the cause of our 30-year inability to solve our education problem. ... [W]e have seen many courageous and talented individuals pushing hard to move the system. Leaders such as Joel Klein (New York City), Michelle Rhee (Washington, D.C.) and Paul Vallas (New Orleans) have challenged the system, and elected officials from both sides of the political spectrum have also fought valiantly for change. ... I believe the problem lies with the stucture and corporate governance of our public schools", my emphasis, Louis Gerstner at the WSJ, 1 December 2008.

"Rhee has promised to make Washington the highest-performing urban school district in the nation, a prospect that, if realized, could transform the way schools across the country are run. ... This fall, Rhee was asked to meet with both presidential campaigns to discuss school reform. In the last debate, each candidate tried to claim her as his own, with Barack Obama calling her a 'wonderful new superintendent.' ... Each week, Rhee gets e-mails from superintendents in other cities. They understand that if she succeeds, Rhee could do something no one has done before: she could prove that low-income urban kids can catch up with kids in the suburbs. ... Rhee is convinced that the answer to the U.S.'s education catastrophe is talent, in the form of outstanding teachers and principals. She wants to make the Washington teachers the highest paid in the country, and in exchange she wants to get rid of the weakest teachers. ... Like about half the states, Washington is now tracking whether students' test scores improve over time under a given teacher. Rhee wants to use that data to decide who gets paid more--and, in combination with classroom evaluation, who keeps the job. But many teachers do not trust her to do this fairly, and the union bristles at the dea of giving up tenure, the exceptional job security that teachers enjoy", my emphasis, Amada Ripley/Washington at Time, 8 December 2008.

New principle: assert governance problems when you have no clue what's wrong! Michelle Rhee (MR) is now "Courageous". She's today's St. Joan! We need an education SARBOX! That will fix everything. Right. I say let's give our new St. Joan the same treatment the last one got. See my 10 August 2008 post:

I have an idea for MR: purge Washington's schools of Negroes, leave only white and Asian kids. MR will then run the top performing urban school district. St. Joan, the answer is talent, kids, not teachers! Like many Washington teachers, I don't trust MR as far as I can throw her. Why? Time writes, "The second year, Rhee got better. She and another teacher started out with second-graders who were scoring in the bottom percentile on standardized tests. They held onto those kids for two years, and by the end of third grade, the majority were at or above grade level, she says. ... 'What was most dissappointing was to watch those kids go off into the fourth grade and just lose everything,' Rhee says, 'because they were in classrooms with teachers who weren't engaging them'." Really MR, or who did not fudge the kids' tests? I think sufficient scrutiny of MR's kids tests will show she faked their results.


Jesse said...

"I have an idea for MR: purge Washington's schools of Negroes, leave only white and Asian kids. MR will then run the top performing urban school district. St. Joan, the answer is talent, kids, not teachers!"

Are you saying the blacks are inferior by nature to whites and Asians?

Independent Accountant said...

The evidence on this point, i.e., that Negroes and Hispanics IQs are lower than Caucasians and Asians and the reason is predominantly genetic is OVERWHELMING! All compensatory eduicational programs have failed. We'll see what MR comes up with.