Saturday, August 20, 2011

Matt Miller’s Idea of Education Reform Realism

One more item for the children, on this Lemonade Freedom Day, before I go offline for a week.  It speaks volumes that smirking Washington Post columnist Matt Miller, inspired by a report about how bad American schools are, wrote the following passage and clearly believed the first paragraph (of free-market suggestions) was meaningless hot air and the second paragraph (of his suggestions) is pregnant with useful ideas:

It’s not easy to get presidential candidates off their talking points when it comes to schools. You can probably recite the GOP slogans yourself: Get Washington out of the way. More choice and competition. Hold teachers accountable. Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s my antidote to the anodyne: In the early GOP primary and caucus states, we need parents, educators, CEOs, labor leaders, foundations and the press to come together to trumpet this report’s findings and use them to elevate the issue through high-profile events, special education debates, candidate report cards and everything else they can think of -- including creative heckling. Get students themselves to ask candidates why Estonian math scores seem beyond our reach.

Choice?  Competition?  Innovation?  The freedom of underserved and dissatisfied customers to turn elsewhere?  Blah, blah, blah.  Oh, but “come together” to “elevate the issue”?  And get students thinking about Estonia?  Now you’re talking practical solutions! 

1 comment:

Dave said...

Also - instead of having the students, say, study harder or seek a tutor, they should put responsibility for their test scores on the candidates laps.