Sunday, February 20, 2005

Educating Inner City Youth 

Excellent observations in today's Boston Globe by confessed liberal Mark Roosevelt on what it will take to close the achievement gap between whites and blacks. The author swallows hard and admits:

Yes, money matters, and the spending inequities of the past were a disgrace. But
once a certain level of spending has been reached, school improvement is far
more about how money is spent...More reforms and higher state standards are
necessary because school systems have shown that, like most large institutions,
they have little ability to change on their own. (As Dick Elmore of the Harvard
Graduate School of Education puts it, ''Watching schools change is not like
watching grass grow; it is like watching Astroturf grow.'') This is so despite
the fact that educators at all levels-superintendents, principals, and
teachers-express enormous frustration with how their jobs are structured and
with the barriers to effective practice created by outdated management policies
and inflexible collective bargaining agreements.

Mr. Roosevelt supports the growth of charter schools as a way of increasing competition to traditional schools and calls for the end of Massachusett's cap on the issuance of new charters. But he falls short of calling for private school vouchers, which would accelerate the reforms he is interested in achieving. He closes by saying:

NCLB sets the right goals for America's schools. Instead of fighting it,
Massachusetts progressives and education leaders should work to show that we
have the ingenuity and determination to be the first state to close the
achievement gap. For we should all be able to agree that educating every child
to a reasonable standard is indeed the great civil rights enterprise of our time.

PermaLink | 9:31 AM | |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?