From the introduction [p. 2] of Joanne Jacobs’ “Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds” comes the following passage. It’s sober, honest commentary on the reality of failing schools.
“Parents who have money can exercise school choice, either by buying a home in an area with good public schools or by paying tuition.
But less-affluent parents are stuck with what they get. If the local school is led by a distant bureaucrat, staffed by inexperienced or burned-out teachers, whipsawed by education fads, and dominated by bullies, parents are told reforms are on the way: Just wait a few years, and then a few more.
If the school is just second-rate, parents are fed happy talk about how everyone’s special and those nasty test scores don’t indicate the real learning kids are doing. Why, they’re going to be lifelong learners! It doesn’t matter that they’ve learned nothing so far. They can look it up on the internet.
Nobody says: “Juan can’t read or write well enough to fill out a job application; he doesn’t have the math to qualify as an apprentice carpenter, electrician or plumber. He can go to community college, because they’ll take anybody with a pulse. But he’ll be stuck in remedial classes to learn what he was supposed to learn in elementary or middle school. The odds are he’ll get discouraged and quit.” That, they don’t say.
… and when someone does say it, the victimized cry foul. Not the truly victimized, either.
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- Who gets to choose at Joanne Jacobs - [...] Thanks to Matthew Tabor of Education for the Aughts for writing about my book, Our School. He quotes the ...