I love and learn from all Larry Cuban’s blogs. Thanks, Larry, for introducing me to the idea of “subsidiarity”
It’s at the heart of policy-making at Centrl Park East and Mission Hill and I’d argue, of democracy. I know that it makes change harder and slower–or so “change-agents” would have us believe. But we also know that “see! the data says x, therefore you must do y” is neither science nor art. First of all, the data rarely says just x, and what follows is rarely a simple y. We’re stuck with critiquing how the data was collected (which requires insight from those who know ‘the data’ from the ground), arguing over its interpretation, and then, most of the time, to persuading and influencing. The faster route of skipping all those steps often proves the slowest, especially in labor intensive fields (which may account for why “the reformers” want to get rid of experienced teachers, and eventually maybe to human teachers altogether. You don’t have to persuade a machine.)
So here it is in the words of California’ governor Jerry Brown, in his January speech to the legislature.
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