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Three ed reforms parents should worry about most


As summer comes to a close, students are preparing to go back to school. I find that most of them enjoy returning. Certainly, our daughters did, said Carol Burris, the principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, New York. There is something exciting about a new beginning. Kids look forward to seeing their friends and meeting their new teacher. Teachers matter a lot to kids. When I ask the students in my school to describe their teachers, they use adjectives like “great,” “caring,” “smart” and “patient.” It is upon the caring and trusting relationship between student and teacher that learning is built. If you ask most Americans what they think of their child’s school, by and large, they think it is really pretty good. Although most parents see room for improvement, few think that the “sky is falling” on the roof of their neighborhood public school…Although I agree that we should all make a serious commitment to improving education, I worry that reformers, many of whom have built careers and fame by constantly disparaging our schools, are successfully promoting changes that are not in the best interest of students. It may be that the “cures” they propose are far more harmful than the problems they seek to address…

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