This is one of the most interesting education stories on the web this week.
David Kirp wrote a very good article in the New York Times about how the Union City public schools have improved over the years without charter schools or TFA. The Times gave it the headline “The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools.”
Gary Rubinstein decided to subject it to careful analysis, as he has done on other occasions when Arne Duncan, President Obama and others claim to have discovered “miracle schools.”
Gary determined that Union City is not a miracle district, that the claims don’t match the rhetoric.
This provoked a fascinating series of responses to the article.
Some people were upset that Gary would puncture a picture that was good for “our side.”
Some said that Kirp never claimed Union City was a “miracle.”
Some said that the “reformers” would use his debunking to argue that schools can’t succeed without using their tough medicine (e.g., firing everyone and closing the school and bringing in TFA).
Read it and see what you think.
But bear in mind that the article is based on David Kirp’s new book Improbable Scholars, which goes into much more detail about Union City and its schools.