Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dead Idea Walking

The moment has passed for teacher merit pay, but we'll still be reading articles about it for a while. The only way it happens now, due to the fiscal crisis gripping our cities and states, and what looks to be the nastiest stretch of white-collar unemployment we've seen maybe ever, is if muscle philanthropy moves from their current position where they leverage a high amount of influence over policy at relatively little risk and cost (vis a vis the cost of public education overall) to one where they essentially "bail out" public education and take much greater responsibility for very large, long-term investments in urban systems with a correspondingly greater share of the blame when things go wrong. I don't see that happening. On the other hand, it is hard to guess how they will respond, since they are opaque, un-democratic organizations.

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