Education reform vs. the experts
posted by Tom Patterson
at 2 May, 9:05 AM 0
The Morrison Institute report “Dropped? Latino Education and Arizona’s Future” was the subject of two featured editorials in the Republic over the weekend. Arizonans were reminded that the education achievement for Latinos hasn’t budged since Morrison’s first report 11 years ago. The consequences include “fewer qualified workers” “greater demands on public services and benefits” and “a reduced ability to attract quality businesses to the state”. Who knew?
Maybe the reason no progress is being made on this well-known problem is that Morrison and other education policy experts offer only tepid solutions. Poverty and lack of parental education are fingered as the main culprits. “Financial resources” and volunteers are called for as well as more summer programs and encouraging parents to “expect more”.
Frankly, a vague “statewide commitment” isn’t the answer. We already know how to educate low-income students of all races. A (very) few schools across the country and in Arizona already are doing it.
These are invariably schools of choice, public or private, where both students and teachers choose to go. They have high expectations and cull out those who don’t meet them. Classroom discipline is emphasized and principals have a high degree of autonomy in operating the school. They’re not managed “top-down”. They utilize the strategies of unleashing freedom and innovation that produce excellence in all areas of human endeavor.
Unfortunately, these operating principles are opposed by the education unions and bureaucracy, who constitute the largest lobbying force in the state. For Morrison, that appears to be someone else’s fight. See you in 11 more years.
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