School 'reforms' are doomed to failure

Another great piece from Thomas M. Stephens

The governor and legislators' micromanagement reveals (once more) their cluelessness about how to improve public schools; after mandating this bad joke, they assigned its operation to the State Board of Education.

This would be fine and dandy, if it were based on any reasonable chance of success. Instead, it's a Hail Mary, a desperate move by self- appointed "reformers" who have helped bring urban schools to their knees and who now call for more charter schools as replacements. Soon both teachers and their students' parents will be labeled failures.

There are no secrets as to why many urban schools need help, or how to improve them. For the most part, achievement tests are measures of the socioeconomic status of students and their families. The urban poor face inequalities, often at conception, and too many persist into adulthood. Sure, good public schools can help, but the metrics now being used give a false picture of their efforts.

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