"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Response to Bloomberg

My post yesterday about the new Chancellor-to-be in NYC was only one of many on the blogosphere. One that interested me was this morning's blog by Diane Ravitch.
The mayor's selection of Black, and Klein before her, is part of a growing trend to turn education—at every level—over to non-professionals. An article in Crain's reports that nearly half the 28 superintendencies in big-city districts this year were awarded to graduates of the Broad Academy, which specializes in training outsiders. In the article, the executive director of the Broad Center said that the leader of a symphony orchestra doesn't have to be a concert violinist. This is true, if she meant to refer to the business manager of the orchestra. But the conductor of the orchestra (the person who "runs" it) must know how to read music and must know quite a lot about each of the instruments and how to bring them together to produce a beautiful sound. Without that skill set, the symphony will just be noise.
She confirms what I assumed...that more and more top education posts in our large urban areas are going to "outsiders" -- non-educators.

I've talked about this before...would we appoint a biologist as Attorney General? an accountant as Surgeon General? Do nominees to the Supreme Court have to be familiar with Law? Should the Treasury Secretary know anything about economics? What every happened to the idea that a good superintendent of public schools should be an educator and a good manager?

Here are some more articles about the NYC Chancellor pick:

...and my favorite:

The Cathleen Black appointment: A precedent


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