William Phillis, Via the mailbag
· State officials assume that any deficiencies in student test scores, behavior, work force readiness, college readiness, etc. are due to the lack of competence and dedication of boards of education, administrators, educators and staff in the public common school. (Of course, some of them believe poverty and home environment do not influence test scores, behaviors, etc.)
· State officials are provided model reform legislation by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and seek advice from corporate leaders and others not working in the public common school system. A token representation of public education personnel may also be consulted.
· "Reforms" such as the parent trigger, vouchers, charter schools, mayoral control of schools, appointed commissions to assume part of the functions of boards of education, tuition tax credits, third grade guarantee, high stakes testing, replacement of teachers and administrators in "failing schools", A-F report cards, etc. are enacted with the expectation that these quick fixes will work wonders.
· In all cases the local education community typically attempts to comply with the state's reforms.
· When local educators and administrators don't fully embrace these untested "reforms", they are considered to be stuck in their old ways, resistant to change and not fit for the position they hold.
· Some state officials attempt to intimidate those who don't "buy-in" to the ever changing "reform" ideas. Then local education personnel are told that they would buy-in if they really would take the time to understand the "reform." · When the "reform" measures don't produce extraordinary results, the local education personnel are to blame and thus the system should be farmed out to the private sector.
We'd just add that by the time corporate reform ideas are proven to be failures (such as NCLB) the politiciand responsible for them are long gone and educators are left to pick up the pieces.