Friday, April 20, 2007

An '08 Edu Plan

Andy Rotherham and Richard Whitmire outline 9 broad strategies for improving education across the board in hopes that an '08 contender will bite on a few. Whom I kidding, they want the whole thing swallowed. And good for their ambition--despite a few rough spots. New-York-Cititize the entire nation?? Also, I'm not so sure the National Standards debate is turning into a tactic to delay real accountability. How long would it take to get a set of national standards, a year, maybe two? States have been easing their way into their homebrew standards for years.

Aside from those points there is real wisdom in this platform that should appear obvious to people in education who look at education broadly--people who are not so partisan to get hung up in nuance and historical hyperbole. Perfect for '08 Democratic candidates. Democratic, yes. I don't think you'd find a republican edu-reformer who could resist the party mandate to layer privatization mud, or market mud, between the cracks of Andy and Richard's project. Sorry, that's my bias. That's what I see.
Highlights from this list entitled "Steal This Education Agenda" include: focus on adolescent literacy; provide more urban schooling choices; give real positive incentives to teachers (career ladders that don't require moving from the classroom to management to get paid a professional wage), and flexible schedules for students and schools that need it (be careful here though Sens. Clinton and Obama, and Mr. Edwards, it's not in every child's best interest to stay in school longer when he or she is not being challenged).


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