Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Edwards on Education: Nothing New to See Here!

Elena Silva looks at John Edwards' education proposals and essentially says, great ideas, but how ya gonna get it to work:
As part of Edwards' plan to Restore the Promise to America's Schools, he wants to ensure an excellent teacher in every classroom. To do this, he'll raise the pay of teachers in high-poverty schools, provide more resources and support for new teachers, train more principals to work in high-poverty schools, reduce class sizes, and require tutors be highly qualified teachers. Wait, what was that last one? That last one strikes me as pie-in-the-sky crazy, despite its good intent. But first, my dos centavos on a few others. On pay perks: Yes, $5,000 might attract some new good teachers to work in high-poverty schools. But it's not enough to get them to put down any roots there, which is really the problem. $5,000 more for national board certification, which has shown some evidence of impact, is a nice idea but not much in the way of powerful incentive to come and stay in high-need and often high-cost urban centers. More support for new teachers is a good call but the devil is in the details here- he's really talking about fewer students and fewer responsibilities for new teachers plus a veteran-novice buddy system. My concern is that this is a tall order that sounds great on the menu but doesn't really convey to the plate. Better leadership is essential for better teaching, as Education Sector proposed here. (links in original omitted)
Aside from the "never gonna happen" tutors being highly qualified teachers thing, I am not seeing anything new.

When are out politicians going to come up with something new in education? At least the Atlanta Journal Consitution is advocating something radically different.

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