I’m going to try and take a break from New Orleans ten year education battles.
I think the aggressive push back led by John White, Pete Cook, Chris Stewart and others was necessary – and I tried to play my part.
But it’s not that fun.
It sacrifices a lot of nuance. It requires pretty aggressive attacks against well meaning people. And it surely is not about learning or getting better.
I felt myself getting dumber by the day.
So it’s time to get back to things that I think are fun, that lead to learning, and that involve our tribe getting better.
It’s time to tap back into the wonderful virtues of anxiety, paranoia, and self doubt.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the chance to pepper some great educators and policy wonks (a few of them quite skeptical of relinquishment type reforms). Here are the two most commonly names critiques / threats / etc.
1. Human capital limits for dominant CMO models: The best charters run off type A people in their twenties working 60-70 hour weeks. This will not scale. Moreover, it’s not just a matter of the top charters being more systematized, as their current systems are predicated on working people long hours – and these systems will crack under a different human capital model. Big picture: existing high-performing CMO models will never be able to scale.
2. Not serving the middle class: No national reform effort will ever get to scale unless it benefits the middle class. The politics will prove impossible. And scale can’t be achieved by only focusing on low-income families in cities. Currently, there are very few highly effective charters serving the middle class, and the political fights in the suburbs are a war that can’t really be won. Moderately well performing monopolies with generally satisfied parents will persist in perpetuity.
Both of these issues have been discussed on this blog before.
But I don’t think we have enough good solutions to consider these issues even moderately solved.
Our tribe needs to work hard on these issues. Myself included!