For years now, I’ve been asking everybody I meet the same question: “When and where were you when you learned best?”
I’ve asked this question because so many of our national school reform efforts are not about learning at all; they’re about achievement, which has come to mean something quite apart from the stories people tell when you ask them to recall one of the most powerful experiences of their lives.
Watch it — and imagine if every reform effort was primarily concerned with increasing the relational — as opposed to the computational — quality of a school community and the people who work and learn there.
If a prominent urban school leader told you he couldn’t recall being informed that half his city’s schools may have allowed the gross mistreatment of students to occur, would you believe him? And even if you did, would you still want him in charge of your children?
The decision by DC Council Education Committee Chairman David Catania to hire an outside law firm to craft school reform legislation is an awful one, worthy of serious public rebuke – and for two interrelated reasons.