Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Magic Bullet I Can Believe In

Tom Vander Ark gets at the one high concept magic bullet structural rearrangement that I think might work:

While far from easy, states with courageous governors could use this crisis to make a radical change: cut the budget by 10% and send the money directly to schools. Every school would get a three year performance contract (i.e., charter) and would be required to join a support network (which could include what used to be a school district, a university, a non-profit like New Tech Foundation, a charter management organization like Green Dot, a for-profit like Edison Learning, or a self-organized coop).

Urban school district administrations are, in my observation, even more of a disaster area than the schools themselves. As far as I can tell, we know several different ways to make successful schools, but nobody can consistently fix entire school districts, and beyond that, it is even harder to do research on that scale than in individual schools and classrooms.

I don't think the "cut the budget 10%" part is a necessary or desirable part of the plan, and it would be easier to stomach once we pass the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easy to re-organize all the little schools.

via GothamSchools.

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