Check this out at CBS News.
The overall CBS report hits a lot of very exposed nails squarely on the head. Unions are standing in the way of progress. Training for both teachers and principals needs improvement. Schools need to be run in a more orderly and business-like manner.
And, it can work.
CBS News highlights Washington DC schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, who is a great example of what can be done when public school officials are willing to confront naysayers and do what is right for kids.
In DC’s Sousa Middle School, Rhee fired a third of the teachers and the principal. Under new leadership, the school’s test scores jumped up dramatically – 25 percent in math, 17 percent in reading.
Low performance wasn’t the kids’ fault – it was status quo adults who held the school back, just like happens in far too many parts of the country, including right here in Kentucky.
CBS News did get one thing wrong – saying more money for charter schools means less for public schools. That just isn’t right. For one thing, charter schools ARE public schools. For another, charters in DC help to highlight the fact that it isn’t the kids; it’s the adults who are the problem.
In fact, Ms. Rhee likes charter schools, and said so just this past June in Colorado.
Still, this generally well-done CBS News clip makes it clear that the public school system in this country needs accountability and take-charge leadership with the authority to act – the sorts of things that only exist today in very few places like Ms. Rhee’s DC system.