Yesterday I was on an NPR program interviewed by Michel Martin. I followed Arne Duncan, Margaret Spellings, Michelle Rhee, and Alberto Carvalho, the Miami superintendent.
Duncan said that Race to the Top did not require teaching to the test. Spellings praised NCLB.
Carvalho explained why he tried to help schools get better instead of closing them down. He said in several cases, he replaced the principal and made other changes, and the school improved.
Rhee took exception. She said that leaders should not tolerate failing schools. And she used this odd metaphor. She said–and I paraphrase–”if you take 10 shirts to a dry cleaner, and they scorch seven of them, why would you go back to that cleaners?”
So a school is like a dry cleaners, and children are like shirts. Teachers scorch the shirts.
Last month, at the GOP convention, Jeb Bush said that choosing schools was like buying milk. Some people like whole milk, some prefer 2% or 1%, or buttermilk or chocolate milk.
What metaphor will we hear next? The school is like a car-wash where the parents pick up their kids at the end of the line? Who makes up these silly lines? Is it some high-priced PR firm?
Being last, I had to try my best to set the record straight. So much to do, so little time.