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Education's Walter Reed Scandal

Maybe I'm the only one who's watching the coverage and impact of the Walter Reed scandal over inadequate care of Iraq veterans and wondering (a) where education's version of this story will come from, and (b) why it hasn't come out yet. Certainly, there are lots of things going wrong inside the education system. To be sure, there've been a bunch of contenders recently -- Reading First, the AYP "loophole," testing flub-ups, etc. But none seems to have had the same scope or impact. And I don't think that what's happening to American schoolchildren is necessarily any less dramatic than what's happening to wounded veterans.

I think one good comparison between the Walter Reed story and education is the belief that if just one changes the person at the top, then everyone else will start doing their job better. Some of the problems at Walter Reed are lost files, lack of follow up, multiple IT systems, lazy case workers, bad personnel management, and civil servants who do not care.

Yet, the media spin is that if the right person was Secretary of Defense or Medical Command commander, then all of those same employees would perform better.

Isn't that the same as the urban school districts who change superintendents every year or two hoping to find the leader/manager capable of producing results? Every change is met with failure but those school districts keep trying.

it's true, there's lots of thinking that leadership, not systems or circumstances, is the answer. thanks for the input.

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