Education reform 'has to include the unions'
From Joe Nocera's column in today's New York Times, referring to writer Steven Brill:
Then he had a conversation with Dave Levin, the co-founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, which is generally regarded as the best charter school network in the country. “If you tore up every union contract in the country,” he told Brill, you would still have to train not just the 70,000 to 80,000 teachers in charter schools, but the three million teachers in America’s public schools.
To put it another way, you simply cannot fix America’s schools by “scaling” charter schools. It won’t work. Charter schools offer proof of the concept that great teaching is a huge difference-maker, but charters can only absorb a tiny fraction of the nation’s 50 million public schoolchildren. Real reform has to go beyond charters — and it has to include the unions. That’s what Brill figured out.