Most panelists agreed that there is a yawning gap between the "reform" policies of the moment and the consensus among scholars who have devoted their lives to studying the issues. How to bridge that gap?
The frustration, sorrow, and down-right fury I feel day after day at the way we are messing things up for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and, most of all, our great-grandchildren is not good for me.
Like me, Wendy thinks that the media should not print the names of teachers and their "effectiveness ratings." We agreed that The Los Angeles Times was wrong to do so a year ago. She agreed with me that naming names is fraught with inaccuracy and can only demoralize teachers.
For me personally, and Vito, too, there's a special poignancy because not only are we in danger of losing what was a growing school reform consensus in the 1980s, but we're at risk of losing all traces of a century-old progressive tradition which pitted efficiency-mavens against democracy-mavens in school reform and all the other strands of New Deal and Fair Deal reform.
I know of no other time in our history when thousands of teachers and parents massed on the Mall in Washington to protest misguided federal policies and to demand changes that will truly improve education and help children learn.