Rothstein: The facts that school reformers ignore

Education “reformers” have a common playbook, says Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, for the Washington Post. First, assert without evidence that regular public schools are “failing” and that large numbers of regular (unionized) public school teachers are incompetent. Provide no documentation for this claim other than that the test score gap between minority and white children remains large. Then propose so-called reforms to address the unproven problem—charter schools to escape teacher unionization and the mechanistic use of student scores on low-quality and corrupted tests to identify teachers who should be fired. The mantra has been endlessly repeated by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and by “reform” leaders like Michelle Rhee, former Washington D.C. public schools chancellor, and Joel Klein, former New York schools chancellor…

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