AFTie One-L tries to use the Broad Prize* to further impugn No Child Left Behind asking how Boston could have won the prize while so many of its schools are not making “adequate yearly progress?” It’s tendentious, and she must know the answer, but AFTie Howard’s response is worth checking out anyway.
But, that the prize is such a handy foil in the hands of AFTie One-L reveals the source of some serious chatter about it. It’s intended to reward the nation’s top urban school district not the best district in the country. But with an award of this size and caliber, it can be interpreted in the public and political spheres as rewarding outright excellence rather than improvement and relative merit. That’s why it has some critics who see it as a celebration of middling performance.
For my part, I think rewarding improvement like this is a good thing if it’s done in context. And before AFTie One-L says this means I must be for growth models, too, remember that there is a big difference between an accountability system in public policy and a philanthropic award.
*I’m on the review board.