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5 Replies to “A 4.0 Edujob”
4.0: So this is how the New Orleans business charter school model folks are packaging their wares. How very TFA. “Schoolwright”? Really? How novel and sooo very old school. Get it? Eh? Another too clever by half attempt at marketing.
Gag me with a spoon.
jmiller: You sound skeptical; I’d like to hear you out and understand what your concerns are. Matt Candler – mcandler at 4pt0 dot org
Thanks Matt, not only am I skeptical but sometimes, just downright snarky 😉 because this whole modern school reform movement is just repeating the errors of the past and creating a few novel ones along the way. First, just about NO–even if your we allow that your new system is working and will work in the long term, scaling it up for wider adoption will be impossible. Hurricanes 1) just aren’t that common, especially big ones that overwhelm a broken levee system and 2) are geographically constrained to subtropical to marginally extratropical locations. So, I think you’d have a really hard time imposing a charter school system outside of the southeastern US.
You could have started over with your traditional public school system and could have come up with early gains but of course we’ll never know because you all destroyed the existing system–well, those parts of it Katrina didn’t drown. You used the hurricane as an excuse to do what would be impossible in other municipalities. Although, I hear the governor of Michigan is trying his darnedest to take over Pontiac and Michigan City. School choice is not and has not scientifically been proven to be a way to improve the educational delivery system. The business model it’s based on makes assumptions about the labor market, the consumer, the consumer market, human psychology, the practice of teaching, the phenomenon of learning, that have little to no relationship to reality. Fixing education by fixing schools and teachers alone will never, ever work. There are too many other variables to consider. But it is a great way for corporate and non-profit interests to sink their hooks into a huge money and influence machine.
jmiller: such a great point about repeating the past. and another damn fine point about reformers acting as if they have all the answers. you’ve just nailed two things we commit to avoiding in our work at 4.0.
OK. But why charters, per se? They’re failing in New Zealand, and haven’t been shown to be all that much better than regular schools. I think you all missed a huge opportunity to impact reform by choosing to drown the existing system. What if you and your corporate sponsors at Walton had chosen to re-invest in public schools? I’m sorry if you don’t like my attitude but seriously, there was a decision to go the charter route for a reason. I’m guessing cash money but hey, I could be wrong, it could have been the overwhelming factual evidence that charter school graduates score anywhere from one to three standard deviations better than regular grads controlling for race, gender, income, and the color of the sky that day.