Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I don’t believe in “reform" - educator explains

"Education and student achievement are not the same."

The educator who wrote 'Why I Don't Believe In Reform' is concerned about the people he has worked with in the past.  He comments:  "I am trusting that these people will welcome the dialogue.  But I am scared nonetheless."


Marc Waxman has been an educator for 17 years, including 12 in New York City, and the last two in Denver.

"I don’t believe.  I wish I could believe.  I am supposed to believe.  But, I don’t. I don’t believe in education “reform” in our country.
I don’t believe charter schools are a panacea, I don’t believe that linking student achievement to teacher evaluation will significantly impact education, and for that matter, I don’t believe student achievement” should be the ultimate goal of education in our country.
I am supposed to believe in all this, especially if you look at my resume and follow the major media discussion of education “reform.” Let me explain.

When I graduated from college in 1994 I joined Teach For America.  I taught two years in Paterson, NJ (made famous by Joe “Batman” Clark from Eastside High School – which was just across the street from the 1,000-student K-8 school where I taught.  After my two years of TFA service I became one of the first teachers and administrators at KIPP in the South Bronx.  After three years at KIPP, I spent the next nine years co-founding and co-directing a new school in Harlem which started as a school-within-a school, was part of a take-over of a failing school that was closed, became an official New York City public school, and then converted to become one of only five conversion charter schools in NYC."