Monday, December 15, 2008

Look who’s defending small schools

Traditionalist Diane Ravitch’s slams on small schools have only encouraged Chancellor Joel Klein who becomes the great small-schools defender in this Forbes opinion piece. This is just how the conservatives, union-busters, and privatizers have been able to, at least for the time being, capture of mantle of change agency, while progressives are still being painted as defenders of the status quo.

Klein talks a good game here, but his practice doesn’t match his theory. In the end, he just another self-aggrandizing power player, using the small schools idea to promote himself for the ed secretary’s job.

New York’s early small schools movement once offered educators, parents and kids, the best hope for transforming that city’s large, over-crowded and racially divided high schools. But Klein’s version of small schools has only sharpened the inequities through discriminatory enrollment policies, unwarranted school closures replacing school improvement, and privatization of charter school management.

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