In the Future, All the Seats Will Be High Performing

I talk to Andy Smarick about the urban school system of the future…

future 8EduShyster: Let’s talk about the future. In your vision, urban parents will choose between their choice of high-performing charter schools. But one can’t help but observe that the cities that seem to be hurtling towards the future at the greatest velocity don’t seem to have all that much choice about where they’re headed.

Andy Smarick: I don’t agree with that at all. I believe that the systems that are going in that direction are places where families, communities and organizations have the most say. They’re places that have the longest charter school wait lists, or in some cities they have the longest scholarship or tax credit wait lists. What I do agree with you about is that in these systems where there are more and more autonomous schools, we don’t have a system yet for ensuring that there is democratic control of the entire system. I think these cities are showing us that parents desperately want a different kind of system, they want choices, they want to be able to exercise their options. But now it’s up to us to ensure that there is democratic control as well.  Continue reading →

Support Your Friendly Neighborhood Edu Blogger

The man to whom I’m *technically* married, AKA the Littlest Bolshevik.

Blame the omnipresent holiday nog, but this is typically the time of year in which some of my boldest, most disruptive ideas flutter into being. Take, for example, last year’s stroke of brilliance, in which I decided to outsource my yuletide request for funds to the man to whom I’m *technically* married. While this resulted in few actual donations, it did produce a wealth of questions—like how does he manage to do all of the cooking if his fist is always clenched in solidarity? So this year I’m going with a more straightforward approach. I’m going to describe exactly what I’ve got planned for 2015, and ask for your help in making it happen. Happy holidays, reader, and let’s hoist some nog to what looks to be a very exciting year…  Continue reading →

Terrible Twos

EduShyster turns two years old—and confronts some fiercely urgent questions…

toddler pics 4So what are some of the big lessons you learned this year?
That when you establish yourself as an obnoxious online presence, you go over surprisingly well when people meet you in real life. And that when you use a combination of facts and whimsy, and basically say the same things over and over again, every once in a while people actually pay attention. Also, that there appear to be quite a few people doing extraordinarily well by *doing good*… Continue reading →

Splitsville

Is the education reform movement coming apart at the seams?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane—no, it’s the corporate education reform movement, a many-headed hydra racing down our nation’s educational tracks with such velocity that mixed metaphors are required even to describe it. But hark: beneath that bedazzled and bedazzling exterior lurks a messy interior—one that’s getting messier by the day. Let’s take a peek, shall we? Continue reading →