Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Megan is back on about vouchers and public schools, and has an issue with those pesky pilot programs trying to find ways to fix the system.
Since we've been talking a lot recently about vouchers, education is one area where this is fairly easy to see. You get a pilot program: a curriculum, a teaching method, a high-intensity preschool program (such as the Perry program) for disadvantaged kids. You do a rigorous study of that pilot. It produces terrific results. Naturally, we should roll it out everywhere!

Not so fast. That pilot program has a huge administrative staff whose sole incentive is to ensure that it is meticulously carried out. In the real world, that curriculum will be put into place by an administrator whose priority list is crowded with everything from mollifying the latest lunatic on the school board, to ensuring that she gets out of town for a three day weekend with her new boyfriend who she really thinks may be The One.

That pilot program is staffed with a narrow band of extremely highly qualified teachers, sifted from the best the environment has to offer. In the real world, whoever happens to be standing in front of the classroom come September 5th has to do it, even if they flunked Remedial Math four times and only got this job because the school board needed a body.
Megan thinks she's arguing against the public school system, still, here, but does even she think privatization will fix these problems, that charter schools will be run by altruists concerned solely with the kids' best interests? Replace "pilot programs" with "vouchers tests" and you might have a decent post.
Further, Megan is presuming the folk designing and running and evaluating pilot programs have no awareness of the reality their ideas will be introduced into, which is, of course, utter bullshit. This post amounts to Megan sticking her fingers in her ears and yelling "I can't heaaaaaaar you" when folk suggest ways to reform the system without demolishing it. You can't fix it, teachers' unions are satan, etcetcetc. Don't try, just let McDonald's take over the schooling of our nation's children.


Anonymous said...

That pilot program has a huge administrative staff whose sole incentive is to ensure that it is meticulously carried out.

I hate hard working people, too.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan on M. in Vietnam: "as eye opening as Fallows in China." Perfect self-contained satire, Sullivan is certainly clever.

Adam Eli Clem said...

Perhaps Sully read McArdle's beer-goggle post and re-evaluated his husband.