Thursday, March 29, 2012

Please Stop Talking About Banning Private School


But none of these things (banning private school, etc.) is going to happen any time soon, and I for one have gotten annoyed at this particular "thought experiment," which seems desperate and misleading. It's desperate because its fanciful nature suggests that reformers are out of ideas; even their magic bullets are made up, now (though to be fair, I'm suspicious about the existence of "Finland," too). It's misleading because it fails to acknowledge that, by focusing almost exclusively on the poorest neighborhoods and the lowest-performing teachers and schools, reformers have contributed to the lack of engagement among middle-class and wealthy families whose interests are going to be needed to make education better at scale.

I find it particularly annoying since Wake County-style desegregation should produce similar results and is genuinely plausible. Unless, I guess, you think including the very wealthy in public schools would provide the decisive difference (which is a vain fantasy).

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