The key is that unless there is accountability, we will never get the right system. As long as there are no consequences if kids or adults don’t perform, as long as the discussion is not about education and student outcomes, then we’re playing a game as to who has the power.
That’s Albert Shanker, leader of the American Federation of Teachers and quoted in Joel Klein’s excellent essay in The Atlantic. Shanker, speaking in 1993 at the Pew Forum on Education Reform, continues,
We are at the point that the auto industry was at a few years ago. They could see they were losing market share every year and still not believe that it really had anything to do with the quality of the product I think we will get—and deserve—the end of public education through some sort of privatization scheme if we don’t behave differently. Unfortunately, very few people really believe that yet. They talk about it, and they don’t like it, but they’re not ready to change and stop doing the things that brought us to this point.
Al Shanker also said that charter schools had a place as test labs for innovation, not as a parallel system to the public schools.
Someone should make that point with the Governor.