Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Change a School’s Structure, Change the World: An Exchange – Have You Heard

Change a School’s Structure, Change the World: An Exchange – Have You Heard:

Change a School’s Structure, Change the World: An Exchange

In which Empower School’s Brett Alessi and I go back and forth about whether the Springfield Empowerment Zone is *all that*… 

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 Editor’s note: I recently wrote about the much-hyped Springfield Empowerment Zone, arguing that there isn’t enough *there there* to merit its coronation as the next big thing, and that the zone’s eye-popping suspension numbers are a serious red flag. Brett Alessi, head of Empower Schools, the nonprofit that is helping to empower the Empowerment Zone, responded and asked if he might respond to my piece, giving readers a fuller account of what’s happening in Springfield than my *negative Nancy* portrayal. (My description, not his). I eagerly obliged but requested that Alessi focus on the two specific issues I raised: the high student suspension numbers in the Zone’s schools, and whether the push to *scale up* the Zone is warranted given that the Zone has yet to do what its architects claimed that it would do. Alessi’s response is below, and my response to his response is below that…

By Brett Alessi
First, I’d like to start by saying that while we don’t always see eye-to-eye, I have really enjoyed our exchanges and appreciate the opportunity engage in a genuine dialogue.  At the end of the day, I believe that what we both care most about is ensuring that all children have the opportunity to be successful.
In response to your recent post, I’d like to point out that prior to forming the Change a School’s Structure, Change the World: An Exchange – Have You Heard:

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