Last week’s speech by Mitt Romney, in which he presented his education reform plan to a group of Latino leaders in Washington, drew attention mainly because he criticized teachers’ unions and endorsed private school vouchers. But those points were perfectly predictable for a Republican candidate and not especially newsworthy.So, first of all, this is a NONPARTISAN BLOG. (I mean it!)
But another part of his plan that potentially veers far from the usual conservative talking points received almost no attention: Mr. Romney would give poor students and those with disabilities the right to attend any public or charter school in their state.
Romney's School Surprise
By JAMES E. RYAN
Second: given what I've been dealing with here in the leafy suburbs, I experienced a moment of glee, reading this. A couple of them. No one's gonna be happy to hear that out here in the leafy suburbs---
Ed, on the other hand, was grumpy: "Obama could never get away with that!"
... Mr. Romney’s proposal would target the real source of educational inequality in this country: school district boundaries, which wall off good school systems from failing ones. The grossest inequalities in educational opportunity today exist between school districts, not inside them.White schools good, black schools bad: people take this as a given, and talk of busing is back. (Folks are really not gonna like talk of busing out here in the leafy suburbs, and, by the way, I agree.)
No one seems to understand what is actually happening inside suburban schools. Certainly no one seems to have absorbed the evidence that good teachers are everywhere:
...there was no relationship between a school’s demographics and its number of high- or low-performing teachers: 26 percent of math teachers serving the poorest of students had high scores, as did 27 percent of teachers of the wealthiest.Mitt Romney can send urban kids to the suburbs; I hope he does.
Teacher Quality Widely Diffused, Ratings Indicate By Fernanda Santos and Robert Gebeloff February 24, 2012
But he better make sure they've got money for tutors.
News flash: my own extremely well-funded suburban school district is going to be implementing a rigorous and enriching 21st century curriculum.