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

Monday, May 29, 2006

Got Principal Shortage? Call Best, Paige, and Lyon

The NY Times Editorial page reported on 5/27 that over the last five years, more than half have of the city's principals have left their jobs. According to the Times, "A city system that once viewed educators with even 10 years' experience as too green to lead a school has grown increasingly dependent on young people — some still in their 20's — who have spent relatively little time in the school system." I imagine similar situations exist in most urban school districts. In desperate times, people do desperate things.

According to a story from today's Dallas Morning News, entrepreneur Randy "I Don't Know Anything About Education, But I Try to Hire People Who Are Respected" Best and former Secretary of Education Rod "The NEA Is a Terrorist Organization and Let Me Tell You About My Latest Educational Miracle" Paige and Reid "I've Never Met a College of Education I Didn't Want to Blow Up" Lyon have joined forces to form ACE, The American College of Education. Looks like our prayers for more qualified principals have been answered. ACE is starting off in Chicago. But you can bet your boots they're licking their chops to penetrate the nation's largest educational market in NYC. In desperate times, people do desperate things.

A big bear hug to Best, Paige, and Lyon for working a deal in Chicago that allows them to use public school classrooms for their for-profit venture. I love the smell of tax-payer financed public space going to private corporations. It smells like . . . profit margins. ACE expects to be generating $4.6 million in revenues annually by 2009. And it expects a profit margin of around 21 percent.

A big shout out to Lyon for upbraiding professors in colleges of education who teach things that do not synch with his . . . I mean the NRP's insistence that phonics-heavy instruction is the way to go. You can bet that none of the ACE employees will be so brazen as to question Lyon's roar.

Dr. Barbara Radner, director of the Center for Urban Education at DePaul University, which is a part-owner of ACE, said ACE's standardization is an interesting alternative to traditional academic freedom.

"Standardization is an interesting alternative to freedom." Orwell could not have said it better himself.

Yes, Reid. There is a knowable truth out there. And, gosh darn it, we're gonna teach it . . . whether they like it or not.

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