This is the sixteenth in a series of open letters I have written to reformers I know and, more recently, that I don’t know over the past two years. Go here for links to the other letters and responses.
Dear Secretary Duncan,
Race To The Top was intended to improve education in this country by finally holding accountable the schools and the ‘adults’ who work in those schools — meaning the teachers — for their failure to get students to adequately grow academically. ‘Ineffective’ teachers need to be identified and fired and ‘failing’ schools need to be identified and closed. Unfortunately the entire program collapses without reliable metrics to judge which schools are truly ‘failing’ and which adults are truly ‘ineffective.’
To illustrate the issues with the accountability metrics that have been the trademark of your tenure, I’ve applied them to something you know intimately, your senior year Harvard basketball team…
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