Sunday, March 28, 2010

School Choice Is Not The Answer

Charlie Sykes, PaddyMac and all the others like WPRI (Weasels Promoting Republican Ideology) too a hit when one of their own broke ranks and decided to speak the truth:

Milwaukee, in the strongly revised opinion of Diane Ravitch, is almost a textbook example for showing that the prediction that the tide of school choice will lift all educational boats is wrong.

"One might wonder about how much (Milwaukee Public Schools) is coming apart at the seams because of the competition," Ravitch said in a telephone conversation. "The competition was supposed to make things better."

A few years ago, Ravitch was a prominent voice for that latter sentiment. But in a way that has caused a stir in education circles nationwide, she now has come down emphatically in the opposite camp when it comes to private school vouchers, charter schools and the testing-based accountability regimen that is at the heart of the No Child Left Behind education law.

Those ideas just haven't worked, she argues in "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education." It is time to return to emphasizing better curriculum and instruction as the key to better success, she says, and it is time for emphasizing the needs of the mainstream of public school students.

The article goes on to point out the instability of the entire charter school system with the constant revolving door of new schools opening and others being closed.

It seems to be that is part of the problem with today's society as a whole. There is no loyalty between employer or employee anymore. The days of having a lifelong career somewhere is over as employers continue to seek out more ways to make the most profit at the employees' expense. This, of course, can be directly tied to the ever decreasing number of unions and unionized jobs.

Which also explains why the right is so set against unions. They get in the way of the wealthy becoming even wealthier and the poor getting poorer.


  1. Ravitch's observations aside, this is one of those subjects upon which I base my self-imposed and -applied label of "lousy liberal." If you disallow religious schools, which I support, I can think of no reason to dislike the concept of charter schools besides their disdain by the teachers' union.

    Of course if Ravitch's suggestion is born out, and I'd love to see the numbers, that would be a whole 'nother argument.

  2. That was unclear. I support the disallowing of the religious schools, not the schools themselves.

  3. I agree. I don't have a problem with a private school, religious or secular. But that is not what the public tax dollars are for.

  4. I see it like a crucible. See what works, what doesn't. Yes, I know, that's like treating kids like lab rats, but I'm a data kinda guy.