Here is my response to the piece I read. It would normally be longer, but 200 words is their limit. Probably a good thing-I use too many words.
"School Reform Can't Wait" (Dec.26, Times Union) did not address the true problems with education reform, and in fact was an example of the problem. Centering the debate around the cost of education, and continually placing faith in test numbers and those outside of the classroom in the diagnosing and treating of symptoms is the least likely way to arrive at a cure. In fact-there has been no rational debate on what is important to the public in the directing and managing of public schools to begin with. Do we continue to ignore that the U.S. has the second highest level of child poverty in the 34 economically advanced nations? Do we continue to avoid mentioning that when controlling for poverty our scores are among the best? Instead of either, let's just talk priorities: do we continue to allow private interests at the very economic top put our public schools to work for them and frame the issue in the press and media? "College and career" ready should give pause. College debt and growing corporate wealth with shrinking job return is the reality. More recent calls to "compete" with India and China should sound alarms. Are those our new "standards"?