The leaders of one of the most economically depressed and racially segregated cities in the nation have decided that the answer to its problems is to fire teachers, close public schools, expand the number of charters, and possibly to expand the voucher program as well.
It seems clearer than ever to me that we need to re-explore issues of choice, so that they are not used to undermine the political communities that are at the base of our political democracy or to glorify the segregation of schools by race.
The turnaround approach assumes that it is bad principals and bad teachers who stand in the way of school improvement.
There is no perfect curriculum, but I base my preferences on precisely the principles underlying democracy. It's our teacherly obligation to consider what students will "need" to join fully into the life of a democratic community.
Do you think that President Obama just doesn't understand that Race to the Top has encouraged states to double down on high-stakes testing? Maybe he doesn't realize that the strategies of his administration rely totally on test scores.