One problem with the education “reform” industry is not merely that it generally looks at “education” as though it were a commodity, like soybeans, and that the problems with how we educate a great many children of our fellow citizens can be solved if we just refine the delivery systems for the product. In other words, most education “reform” proponents treat “education” as though it exists in a vacuum unaffected by the factors — like, say, joblessness and poverty — in the real world outside the classroom. (How many prominent school “reformers” have stepped up and said anything about the increasingly effective campaign by the NRA to arm public school teachers? Thought so.) Thus do we come to the second problem with the education “reform” movement — it is shot through root and branch with patent-medicine remedies pitched by for-profit grifters and hustlers.
Adell Cothorne was principal of the District’s Noyes Education Campus for one year, in 2010-11. She told “Frontline” that just after students took a midyear practice version of the city’s annual standardized test, she stumbled upon three staff members sitting late at night in a room strewn with more than 200 test booklets. One of the adults was at a desk, holding an eraser. The other two sat at a table, booklets open before them. “One staff member said to me, in a lighthearted sort of way, ‘Oh, principal, I can’t believe this kid drew a spider on the test and I have to erase it,’ ” Cothorne told filmmakers, offering the first such direct testimony about potential tampering with answer sheets in D.C. schools…Investigators found some test-security problems at Noyes but no evidence of answer-sheeting tampering. Based on those findings, they decided not to examine other schools. But Cothorne, the former principal who alleges that she saw staff members after hours with erasers and test booklets, said investigators never interviewed her. “My speculation: They didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” she told “Frontline.”
The current model for education “reform” in this country — a corporate model with transparency problems and severely decreased political accountability — is broken. Handing over “our” schools to hedge-fund managers, and to the people like Michelle Rhee who volunteer as well-remunerated middle managers, privatizes public education without having the basic cojones to admit that it’s happening. This is not the way it’s supposed to work.
Read more: Rhee Finances – Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/michelle-rhee-corporate-public-schools-010713#ixzz2HQxtlZlQ