“What should America do about its worst public schools? States still don’t seem to know.” — Washington Post
I won’t employ the now overused and often (by Trump) misused: “fake news” label here. But the assertion that we don’t know how to fix underperforming public schools, is just not true. We know now, and we have known for a very long time. Granted we took some really bad privileged “Nouveau school reform”, off-purpose detours; that further hurt our public schools, and specifically harmed children of color. But even throughout the glory days of the “school reform” debacle in places like NYC and DC; there were, (and still are), educators who knew exactly what to do.
Presently, there also exist a racial apartheid system, that has effectively excluded (or severely limited) access for professional educators of color, from the very lucrative “school improvement” industry; thus culturally and theoretically limiting the list of possible workable solutions available to schools and school districts. But in spite of all of the “faux reform” distractions, and the misplacement of school improvement funding; the true school reformers and improvers still always knew exactly how to effectively educate all of the children in our care. First, to the archives, and a 1979 quote from a true school reformer Dr. Ron Edmonds:
“It seems to me, therefore, that what is left of this discussion are three declarative statements: (a) We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us; (b) We already know more than we need to do that; and (c) Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.”
And so, “not knowing” is an untruth. And the question of “how”, is really not the question. Rather it is a matter of “why not”, and the will to implement the effective measures and practices on behalf of all children in our public school systems. And in particular, on behalf of those children, parents and communities, who are not sufficiently politically organized well enough to force the public school system to “know” and “remember” how to educate children.
“What should America do about its worst public schools? States still don’t seem to know.”— Washington Post