Were I managing a small to medium sized for- or nonprofit school improvement provider, I’d be looking for multi-year funding opportunities, in areas the large publishers avoid, where local connections work to my advantage.

Yesterday, I provided provisions of the District of Columbia Code relevant to the present debate over the status of employees in the DC Public Schools central office. Today, my analysis. It maybe somewhat unexpected.

Media interest in District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty's proposal to make the public school system's central office staff "at will" employees, with job security subject to the sole discretion of Chancellor Michelle Rhee, has focused on politics rather than content. Let's compare current law with what the Mayor and Chancellor request.

While the Education Industry Association and its Supplementary Educational Services (SES) subcommittee are actively representing and often defending the interests of the SES provider industry, we are keenly aware that we must also defend high ethical standards.

After five years of failing to make AYP put a school into restructuring, another three to four years of failure should leave no reasonable doubt that the school is educationally bankrupt. As a practical matter the school needs to go out of business as an institution.

The school improvement industry’s current fragmentation follows from several factors besides "newness." Is the condition permanent or amenable to change?

Other things being equal, the RFP favors contractors with local staff. However, the prospect of selling additional school improvement products and services argues for thinking about this - and costing it - in comparison with traditional customer acquisition strategies. In a way, RFP winners will be paid to market their other offerings.

Work for Native American children that doesn’t look like it will be subject to the competition most likely to get those kids the best service at the best price.

Does evaluation prove out the idea that older teachers add more value to student performance in inner city settings? in any setting? in general?

It is because I agree with the objectives of Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee so strongly that I disagree with them on strategy so vehemently . I can't think of an approach less likely to achieve our shared ends. And their failure is bound to set back reform efforts across the nation for years to come.


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