Charlie Pierce catches the main problem with education reform:
Rebecca Strauss checks in at The New York Times and immediately tries to make Michelle Rhee cry.
The truth is that there are two very different education stories in America. The children of the wealthiest 10 percent or so do receive some of the best education in the world, and the quality keeps getting better. For most everyone else, this is not the case. America’s average standing in global education rankings has tumbled not because everyone is falling, but because of the country’s deep, still-widening achievement gap between socioeconomic groups. And while America does spend plenty on education, it funnels a disproportionate share into educating wealthier students, worsening that gap. The majority of other advanced countries do things differently, at least at the K-12 level, tilting resources in favor of poorer students.
I thought it was about teachers unions, and standardized testing, and Trigger Mechanisms, and not leaving any children behind in the race to the top, or some other gimmick thought up by a zillionnaire who’s no more ever set foot in a classroom than he has on the surface of Mars. You mean, it might be about...poverty? Do continue.
The problem is that the United States is not spending its education dollars effectively. At every point along the education track, from preschool to college, resources are skewed to wealthier students.