Andy delivered a shortened version of the following comments at a PPI launch event for Hill & Jochim’s new book, A Democratic Constitution for Public Education.
Thank you for having me here. I’m thrilled to talk about this great new book, which, incidentally, all of you should go out and buy immediately. I’m a big fan of Ashley’s work at CRPE, and Abby played a crucial role in advancing D.C.’s system of schools during her time as deputy mayor.
Paul’s and David’s contributions over more than two decades have hugely influenced my thinking. I’m honored to be on this panel with them.
There’s so much to like about this book, but I only have ten minutes. So for that reason, and because I’m generally a malcontent, I’m going to focus mostly on the questions and half-concerns I have. But please don’t infer anything other than this: I think Paul and Ashley’s book is terrific.
I’ll focus on three points.
First, the book does an excellent job helping the reader understand the district’s four categories of activities, which need to be disaggregated, repackaged, and reassigned as the district loses its place as the monopoly school provider.
Second, over the last twenty years, American cities have taken two different paths to systemic reform. This book’s recommendations land differently for cities in the different categories.
Third, unlike most books, Paul and Ashley’s could and should have an immediate positive influence in a number of cities.
The book helps us see that when the...