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March 02, 2009
March 03, 2009
I think possibly the biggest mistake we've made in K-12 urban education is elevating the importance of a school's sector (traditional public, charter public, or private) above its academic quality. That is, rather than distinguishing schools based on how well they serve disadvantaged kids, our politics and policies distinguish them based on who operates them. Think of all of the ???????us vs. them??????? arguments you've heard over the years. Think of all of the urban superintendents who measure their success by how much money, power, or market share their sector has.
I've quietly had a dream of becoming an urban superintendent and beginning my tenure by saying, ???????From this point on, we will be driven by a single principle: Getting as many students into great schools as possible. I don't care if it is a neighborhood public school, a charter school, a Catholic school, a Lutheran school, or any other type of school. My position is that we love great schools no matter who runs them. Let me be clear. I am not in charge of protecting a system; I'm in charge of making sure all kids are well educated.???????
Well, I've been beaten to the punch, and I couldn't be happier. ????This is a quote in the New York Times from Washington DC schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee responding to the current efforts to kill the DC voucher program.
Part of my job is to make sure that all kids get a great education, and it doesn't matter whether that's in charter, parochial, or public schools.
This is the future of urban education reform. ????Thank you Chancellor Rhee.