Asking the WRONG Question!

“Saving” our schools is NOT the function of one person, and it never will be. America is seems to be caught in the grip of the absurd notion that a “Czar” or an “Education President” can “fix” our schools.

Can She Save Our Schools?

The U.S. spends more per pupil on elementary and high school education than most developed nations. Yet it is behind most of them in the math and science abilities of its children. Young Americans today are less likely than their parents were to finish high school. This is an issue that is warping the nation’s economy and security, and the causes are not as mysterious as they seem. The biggest problem with U.S. public schools is ineffective teaching, according to decades of research. And Washington, which spends more money per pupil than the vast majority of large districts, is the problem writ extreme, a laboratory that failure made. (See pictures of a diverse group of American teens.)

Rhee took over Anacostia High and the district’s 143 other schools in June 2007, when Mayor Adrian Fenty named her chancellor. Her appointment stunned the city. Rhee, then 37, had no experience running a school, let alone a district with 46,000 students that ranks last in math among 11 urban school systems. When Fenty called her, she was running a nonprofit called the New Teacher Project, which helps schools recruit good teachers. Most problematic of all, Rhee is not from Washington. She is from Ohio, and she is Korean American in a majority-African-American city. “I was,” she says now, “the worst pick on the face of the earth.”

But Rhee came highly recommended by another prominent school reformer: Joel Klein, chancellor of New York City’s schools. And Rhee was once a teacher–in a Baltimore elementary school with Teach for America–and the experience convinced her that good teachers could alter the lives of kids like Rhodes.

Each week, Rhee gets e-mails from superintendents in other cities. They understand that if she succeeds, Rhee could do something no one has done before: she could prove that low-income urban kids can catch up with kids in the suburbs. The radicalism of this idea cannot be overstated. Now, without proof that cities can revolutionize their worst schools, there is always a fine excuse. Superintendents, parents and teachers in urban school districts lament systemic problems they cannot control: poverty, hunger, violence and negligent parents. They bicker over small improvements such as class size and curriculum, like diplomats touring a refugee camp and talking about the need for nicer curtains. To the extent they intervene at all, politicians respond by either throwing more money at the problem (if they’re on the left) or making it easier for some parents to send their kids to private schools (if they’re on the right).

If there is one sign of hope regarding education, it is that the drones in the media are starting to understand just how useless and corrupt the education bureaucracy has become. If they are starting to write sentences like the one bolded above, they may start to realize that the entire bloated ediface of education bureaucracy is worthless – EVEN in the SUBURBS.

Those of you reading this post need to know that no one person can “fix” education. YOU can fix education by telling all your friends the following four words.

Fund Children, NOT Bureaucracy.