Emphasizing the 'Public' in Public Schools
The testing regime established by the No Child Left Behind Act, she argues, has only encouraged states to dumb down their proficiency standards and to hollow out their curricula. And the law, she says, has prompted too many states and cities to close failing schools when instead they should pour resources into them. Shutting down schools and creating new ones from scratch often hurts more than it helps, she writes.
In New York City, for example, "half of the 10 worst-performing schools in the city on the state math tests in 2009 were new schools opened to replace failing schools." (Interestingly, she cites Florida, which is often thought of as ground zero of conservative education policy, as a state that has wisely chosen not to shutter many schools. The state has done a good job, she writes, of rehabilitating schools that were ranked D or F in its accountability system.)