Whither the defenders of the education status quo?

Given time, even the New York Times will come around. If you haven’t read Paul Tough’s article on the success of KIPP charter schools in overcoming the minority achievement gap in the November 26 edition, go read it now (registration required). Then check out Whitney Tilson’s School Reform blog and a column by Alan Bonsteel in today’s Orange County Register. Writes Bonsteel:

The Times specifically praised the KIPP schools as being nonunion and therefore outside normal public school work rules, thus allowing them to hire top-notch, dedicated teachers willing to put in the very long hours needed to bring to grade level these kids who most need a hand up. The attitude of the KIPP schools from the outset has been to provide not just what schools for the well-to-do would offer their children, but even more still to compensate for the lower educational levels from which their disadvantaged children mostly start.

As amazing as this turnaround by the Times was, more earthshaking was its condemnation of the status quo, in which it observed that “[t]he evidence is now overwhelming that if you take an average low-income child and put him into an average American public school, he will almost certainly come out poorly educated.”

While the ranks of the status quo defenders dwindle (at least outside of union officials and educrats), a few of them lurk around my blog – which is perfectly fine: I’d just like to see them make a cogent and semi-convincing argument.


  1. Fran Docherty says

    Three questions for you Ben.

    1. How long did you teach in a public school before working at the I.I.?

    2. How long were you a member of CEA or NEA?

    3. Have you ever considered working with CEA to reduce the number of government regulations imposed on public schools?

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