Friday, May 10, 2013

"Education is a Common Good: There Should Be No Losers"

Given the reality that we should be educating all children, it may surprise the uninformed observer that the market-based approach is alive and well in the education field – driving a set of reforms that is slowly eroding our public school system and creating an even wider and more troubling achievement gap; ensuring that more affluent students have access to better schools and more resources, while low-income students receive a second-class education. Last week the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (BAA), an initiative at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), released Market-Oriented Reformers’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality. The report looked at three key urban districts – DC, Chicago and New York City – that have implemented market-oriented reforms including vouchers, charter schools and pay-for-performance, but failed to deliver on the significant student outcomes they promised would result from such efforts. Key findings include:
  • Test scores increased less, and achievement gaps grew more, in “reform” cities than in other urban districts
  • Test-based accountability prompted churn that thinned the ranks of experienced teachers, but not necessarily bad teachers 
  • School closures did not send students to better schools or save school districts money

Education is a Common Good: There Should Be No Losers | LFA: Join The Conversation - Public School Insights