The School Choice Demonstration Project report, conducted by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, indicates that parents in Washington D.C. are extremely pleased with their city’s voucher program....This is one of those things, though—does parental satisfaction matter? Many parents, especially suburban parents, are pleased as punch with their local schools, which doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem; it just means they’re happy. Satisfaction, especially regarding schools, might not be a useful metric to judge those same schools by.
Later on, in an article about Governor Gregoire’s new P-20 Council:
Most Washingtonians would agree: our school system has needed an overhaul for a long time.Really? Would they agree to that? Most school levies still get more than 50% of the vote, which seems like a fairly authentic way to judge how the public feels about the schools. When charter schools have been on the ballot, they’ve failed. I’m not sure I see the consensus on a needed overhaul.
However, one of the main hindrances to education reform is the lack of accountability between the schools and the state government.Here Maggi may have been on to something, but I think he needed to carry the point a lot farther for it to have the punch that it could, and it begs a question: what role should the state play in fixing a failing school? Take it away from the district? Refuse to pay the salary of any staff member who can’t demonstrate their results? Mandate curriculum? Offer more resources (i.e., $) and gentle prompting to get the school on the right track?
It’s good that we have people like Steve thinking about schools and contributing to the dialogue; I just wish he’d been more expansive here.