I'm not regretting having spent 50 years trying to reform American public education, and I think it's more imperative today than ever. But the future doesn't depend on it the way it does on our economic crisis, our political system crisis, and our planetary self-destruction.
But I was inspired above all, because California has courageous, wise, and bold leadership that is prepared to stop the insanity that has undermined education across the nation.
Yes, there have been and will continue to be "turnarounds" that work. But if we see the turnaround as a method of getting "rid" of people—teachers or kids—we'll misuse its potential.
We might or might not have higher test scores, but at what cost? Under these circumstances, who will want to teach?
Like No Child Left Behind, the Soviet state set goals for everyone to meet—or else. Since they were unmeetable goals, it produced a culture of lies and cover-ups and a climate of fear. Does that sound familiar?