DC Schools…And, Will Swings And Misses

For its education issue WaPo’s Outlook section looked at the plight of Washington D.C.’s schools. ES’s Toch and Mead here, advice from various quarters here. Toch and Mead go pretty Cuban in describing the mess that passes for schooling in the city. But they spend more time on current superintendent Janey than what I see as the key variable in the near term: Fenty. He’s going to engage on this issue in a big way and could put together some interesting alliances. As Toch and Mead point out, DC’s governance is screaming for reform, it’s an amazing amalgam of the worst aspects of city and state educational governance and Fenty has some play there.

Also, while you’re there, Michael Grunwald provides a handy example of the concern that this Reading First fiasco is going to undermine the consensus around reading instruction and set back that effort. And, George Will phones in a sort of ridiculous column about the “65 percent solution.” The definitional issues are part of the problem with the 65 percent idea, but does Will seriously believe that (a) the states won’t game the definitions as this comes to pass and (b) there is not some legitimate debate about what is and isn’t an instructional expense? Update: Kevin Carey has much more here.

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