Friday, January 13, 2017

Samuel Abrams, Expert on School Privatization, Condemns Business Strategy of Betsy DeVos | janresseger

Samuel Abrams, Expert on School Privatization, Condemns Business Strategy of Betsy DeVos | janresseger:

Samuel Abrams, Expert on School Privatization, Condemns Business Strategy of Betsy DeVos


President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos are all devotees of the privatization of public education. That’s the reason it is so fascinating to read Samuel Abrams’ analysis of their ideas about federal education policy.  Samuel Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. And just last year he published Education and the Commercial Mindset, a book about the failure of Edison Schools and the challenges faced by KIPP along with some other charter school networks.
Abrams is not an ideologue and in the book as he concludes his in-depth examination of KIPP schools, he doesn’t reject the idea of charter schools out of hand—nor, unlike many other critics, does he reject the punitive, behavior-modification discipline that dominates many of these schools. But he cautions there are no quick or simple ways to solve the problems poverty poses for our children, our schools and our society. Here is how he concludes the book: “Organizations like Achievement First, KIPP, and Mastery do great work despite the force of poverty, but their dependence on a finite supply of generous philanthropists, tireless teachers, and students as well as families capable of abiding by rigid academic and behavioral expectations limits their reach. These organizations have led the way in showing what can be accomplished for a subset of students by granting administrators significant autonomy, extending the school day, providing intensive remedial help, and raising expectations. The next step is to make these strategies work for all students in disadvantaged communities. Such replication would necessitate substantial public investment to hire additional staff. The result would ultimately comport with the community school concept, with afternoon programs in art, music, crafts, sports, and homework help as well as associated medical, dental, and counseling services. This paradigm would be all the more successful if schools were granted the freedom to Samuel Abrams, Expert on School Privatization, Condemns Business Strategy of Betsy DeVos | janresseger:


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