While Michelle Rhee is about to get ousted from her position in charge of Washington DC schools in the wake of the black rebellion against white gentrification and professionalization of government in DC she's still totally devoted to the fire-teachers-until-things-improve style of school management. I am happy to hear she wants to apply left-liberal thinking on education even more vigorously.
She did not mention Gray by name or criticize him directly at the Newseum screening. But in a kind of Sarah Palin "don't-retreat-reload" moment, she said the takeaway from the D.C. election for education reformers was that it was time to become even more aggressive in the push for measures such as tougher teacher evaluations using test score data and performance-based pay.
"I would say that the biggest tragedy that could come from yesterday's [Tuesday's] election results is if the lesson people take from this is that we should pull back. That is not the lesson," Rhee said. "That is not doing right by what Adrian Fenty has put into this effort for the last three and half years, that is not the right lesson for this reform movement. We cannot retreat now. If anything, what the reform community needs to take out of yesterday's election is now is the time to lean forward and be more aggressive and more adamant."
What would be ideal: The "reform community" (aka blank slate liberal-left social engineering professional educators) should focus on a few cities that have substantial liberal white majorities with black minorities. In only those cities (gotta limit the extent of the damage), safe from black voter overturn, they should pursue their strategy of firing large numbers of teachers (up to 80%) until the racial test gap closes. We need to see this experiment play out in its stronger form. Only the purging of the kulaks, oops, sorry, wrong revolution....only the firing of large numbers of teachers every year will demonstrate the truth or falsity of the latest liberal vision for American education.
Michelle Rhee should be put in charge of the schools of an ideal city. The ideal city would have a much larger number of white voters than white parents. That way impractical white non-parents would stay supportive of Michelle Rhee even while liberal white parents get upset that their favorite teachers are getting fired. Nothing should get in the way of the take-no-prisoners approach to testing out this progressive liberal idea.
It is crucial that the unrealistic bull-in-a-china-shop idealists get a few cities to control to implement their most severe educational agenda so that we do not get a weaker version of their ideas implemented on a national scale. We need some obvious experimental sites where their ideas can fail on a most spectacular scale. I realize this means there'll be a certain number of friendly fire casualties. But local battles will produce fewer casualties than a large national ideological war against teachers as the latest blame targets. The Inquisition has put reality off the table. So the tragedy must play out in the least damaging form possible.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2010 September 19 03:05 PM Education|