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    Deborah exchanges views with a different colleague, each for a month or two.  Her current correspondent is Harry Boyte, a Minnesotan (although his roots are southern). He has always been a friend and mentor, even though we come to stuff in different ways and even disagree on and off. He is a professor and an activist, a theorist and a practitioner, with a focus on democracy—beginning a long time ago when he worked with Martin Luther King. He has written or edited ten books on the topic and founded a Center on
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An “Odd” thought

It came to me as I was falling asleep! We’re in a “competition” between charters et al and “regular” urban public schools. Agreed. But the folks in charge of one side in this “competition” are in fact members of the other team–and take no responsibility for improving their team. We have mayors in charge (along with their selected underlings) who are championing the privatization of the public schools they are accountable on the grounds that those schools aren’t fixable. In some cases, after a decade or more of being “in charge” of our public schools, they accept no blame for the state of “their” schools–since they have already shifted their allegiance–but not resigned their control over the public’s schools.

I keep repeating myself because it seems so astounding. It’s as if Girardi had a contract with the Orioles but continued to lead the Yankees and no one thought it was unethical.

3 Responses

  1. So true. Thing is, Girardi is a lifelong baseball professional. Unfortunately, most officials in charge of creating public education policy have no skill, expertise or record of success in education. They are essentially amateurs. No wonder they’re giving up on “fixing” the schools. They haven’t yet learned to collaborate with the pros.

    My guess: many charters will not be judged by their students’ success but rather by their profitability. Now that’s “accountability” for sure.

  2. Here is an unrelated odd thought that came to me recently. In the old days, women were supposed to keep the family together no matter how much the man in the house indulged in alcohol, women, violence or whatever else. If the family failed, it was the woman’s fault. She didn’t work hard enough to save her man and her family. Sound familiar? Now it’s the teachers who are at fault, no matter the environment in which they are expected to teach. This is a feminist issue!

  3. …the mayors and their underlings are blaming bad teachers and their unions for blocking their incredible visionary reforms, isn’t that their excuse for failed efforts?

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