I have all kinds of strong feelings when it comes to education reform in this country.
I could spend thousands of words explaining my position, but I’m tired and it’s late and you have stuff to do today, so I’ll boil it down to a few bullet points.
**I believe teachers unions are incredibly valuable, but they need to be more flexible and allow for more accountability. Too many bad teachers still have jobs. Test scores alone are a terrible way to evaluate teachers; principals and administrators must see teachers in action, and not just for five minutes at a time.
**I believe “teaching to the test” has completely overtaken this country, and is a very bad, bad thing.
**I believe most, if not all politicians have no clue what goes on in America’s classrooms, which is why they’re clueless to fix things.
**I believe simply throwing money at bad schools and bad districts has accomplished nothing over the last 60 years.
Most of all, though, I believe in hope. I believe that there are ways to make kids care about learning, and that with the right circumstances, and the right people leading the way, a successful school can sprout in the most dangerous inner cities, and in the most hopeless neighborhoods.
I’m a huge, huge fan of the KIPP program, and I’m glad to see how fast it’s growing. I find it inspiring hearing about the incredible dedication of students and teachers there, and in places like it.
“60 Minutes” on Sunday gave me more reason to hope. It showed a wonderful piece by Byron Pitts on the SEED school in Washington, D.C., a remarkable inner-city boarding school that chooses students by lottery, then turns their lives around.
If you want your spirits lifted and hopes restored, please watch this:Vodpod videos no longer available.
**So I’ve said a few times on here that I’m a big lacrosse fan. Even if you’re not, check out these two fantastic goals by a Division III lacrosse player named Richie Ford, who plays for Stevenson College. This is part of what makes lacrosse so great; the creativity of its players.