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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whitney Tilson's School Reform

Yesterday, I wasted 15 minutes of my time listening to a web-based lecture given by hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson, co-founder (and funder) of Democrats for Education Reform. The slide below shows how groups like DFER champion test abuse and intend to bring corporate structures for reform (or turnarounds) to our public school system. Tilson claims you could fix "any broken system," with the logic and mentality, of course, of hedge fund managers and corporate hucksters (be sure to check out this video of Tilson claiming, "There's a very fine line between what all of us do, and fraud..."). Whitney has taken this strategy and applied it to public education.
Step number 3 of Tilson's grand plan includes waging war on "happy schools" - where the teachers, students, principal, and parents are all happy, but those darn test scores just aren't high enough. Schools - they're all about testing, not about those pesky people (including children) with the audacity to step foot in the building. Shame on them for being so happy! They just need a charter school, merit pay, and the end of social promotion (reforms with dubious, at best, research behind them, and quite a bit of research saying they're all bad ideas).

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