9 years of school "reform" failure in DC
I recognize that successful change takes many many years (e.g., I think of building developments that I've been involved in that have taken 13 years to "deliver"). But all too often, change is unsuccessful because the approach is flawed.
It's likely that's the case with "school reform" in DC.
While the Washington Post continues to laud the effort, started under Mayor Fenty who at the behest of NYC schools chief Joel Klein hired Michelle Rhee for the newly minted title of Chancellor of the DC Public Schools and continued by her lieutenant Kaya Henderson, schooling outcomes for minority children continue to lag--according to the National Research Council (An Evaluation of the Public Schools of the District of Columbia: Reform in a Changing Landscape, improved test score mostly result from the increase in the enrollment of higher income students in the system.
John Merrow, education correspondent for PBS News Hour, is not impressed. His piece on the subject,"A Premature Celebration in DC," is worth a read.
Some past blog entries on the topic include:
-- Education "reform" (2007)
-- Missing the most fundamental point about urban educational reform (2009)
-- Power of bad ideas: DC Public Schools (2010)
-- Muddling through on urban education reform in the Washington Post (2011)
-- Speaking of schools #3: school reform in DC is mostly flawed (2011)
-- DC public schools as permanent snafu (2012)
-- More mendaciousness about school reform: Joel Klein (2012)
-- Education update: school reform as focus on the test, not critical thinking (2013)
-- Frustration #2: school reform discussions mostly miss the point (2013)
In the comment thread of the last entry, readers suggest two good articles, "Linking Home and Classroom, Oakland Bets on Community Schools" (Atlantic) and "The Gift of Doubt" (New Yorker).
which in part, reminds me of this piece:
-- International Baccalaureate program at an impoverished high school in Seattle as a way to improve academic outcomes