Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Hidden Curriculum - Bridging Differences - Education Week

The Hidden Curriculum - Bridging Differences - Education Week:

The Hidden Curriculum

Deborah Meier continues her conversation with Robert Pondiscio of CitizenshipFirst today.

Dear Robert,
1. Public Education.  While I like many standalone charters—mom-and-pop shops—run by the constituents of the school's "community," I see no reason why the schools have to go charter to have that independence.
The three case stories I described last week, as well as my experience in District 4 in the 1970s and 1980s, reminds me that the best charters are just like the best public schools.   
I am not for publicly funding charter chains that are essentially accountable to their "owners," not their public.  If your view is based on a general aversion to public institutions we obviously won't find a compatible compromise.  That would be too bad.  
2.  Who decides what? We might still agree on some guidelines for thinking through who should decide what: professionals, families, or the public?  Choice doesn't solve this.  Especially if it's the kind of choice in which parents, teachers, and kids who have complaints are told, "So, leave." 
If we could stop pretending there's one right answer to what a "good school" is, including our definition of success, we could learn from each other. An independent agency collecting data—tests, interviews, site visits might make sense, too.  Are we on the same page so far? 
However, I fear that you fail to see how an imposed Common Core with its testing component, as well as charter chains, undermine the freedom to make critical decisions that we both cherish.
3.  What can we do? What makes for a strong school lies somewhere else: in how the school