"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Spellings "Compromises" Again

Secretary Spellings has once again caved, er, shown flexibility, in her dealings with school systems who would prefer to have certified teachers as tutors rather than applicants off the street hired by fly-by-night tutoring companies ready to bilk the federal government for the billions available for Title 1 tutoring.

The Times reports that NYC now becomes the third major metropolitan area (after Chicago and Boston) to receive ED's special dispensation to use certified teachers as tutors. In so doing, Spellings notes the the City will be required to do what all private tutoring outfits have thus far avoided, i.e, offer evidence of effectiveness:
"My top priority is raising student achievement, and I'm going to be as flexible as I possibly can to help all students," said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. "This is about children's futures and ensuring that New York City's parents have as many options as possible for their children. In exchange for more flexibility, New York City has committed to being accountable for making high-quality academic help available to more students, which will lead to increased achievement."

It seems that "market forces" are the accountability means better suited for the tutoring companies--nothing like that old-fashioned oversight required of public entities. I wonder when we will be asked to hire mercenary "accountability" firms to evaluate the services of public schools. That's right, I forgot--we have already done that in New Orleans.

Jim Horn

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