Cami Anderson made news when she said that education reform has made things worse. Actually, no. What she said was that reform has not put a dent in the school-to-prison pipeline or possibly made that problem worse. Her remarks were taken out of the context of the discussion:
“Here is the inconvenient truth: Education, including education reform, is part of the problem,” said Cami Anderson, the polarizing former schools chief in Newark, N.J., and a 1993 TFA alumna. “We have not made a dent in the problem, and in some cases we’ve made it worse.”
You get it, the “problem” here is school-to-prison, that’s what the discussion she was leading was about and talking about it from a system level perspective. She wasn’t the only one making that point in the discussion either just the catchiest brand apparently. Anyway, Anderson has tried to clarify on social media with little impact because people aren’t trying to have a real conversation here. This is why we can’t have nice things in this sector. If you can’t even talk about problems and challenges without this kind of circus it’s really hard to drive much improvement.
Real issue: How often do you actually hear people talk about adjudicated youth?
If education were cancer research I guess The Washington Post would run a story about some disgruntled guy telling everyone to go to Venezuela for injections of palm oil during a Sloan Kettering conference. I wasn’t everywhere at the TFA conference but I didn’t hear anyone say charters are inherently superior to other public schools. In fact, I never hear that among anyone serious in this debate – including a lot of TFA alums. What you did hear at TFA was more diversity of views than you get at your average education conference.
Curriculum standards and politically charged issues. Also politically charged is the question of how much authority the Department of Education has to regulate under the new ESSA law. Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan didn’t help matters with his ‘our lawyers are smarter’ comment on the way out the door.
School choice advocate and author Andrew Coulson has passed.