Saturday, August 16, 2008
Equity in Education
So, here's an article from the NYT (it's been a while, right?) about the struggle to rebuild schools in New Orleans, post-Katrina. Even more than rebuilding, the educators are in the middle of attempting to re-imagine what schools can be and build that. They don't want to replicate the previous, broken system, they want to try new things and see what happens. They're using a combination of the charter school models to ramp up achievement and achieve some measure of equity for the students in the city. Fascinating use of the "big names" in school reform organizations: Teach for America, KIPP, New Leaders for New Schools. They've all managed to get young idealistic types to leave what they were doing wherever else in the country to go there to essentially experiment on the kids. The level of experimentation is scary, but admirable: no one's arguing that what they had before was a good thing, and no one really knows what the right answer is in terms of doing right by those kids. Something new is what's wanted, needed. Returning to the status quo is not an option.