Many people get too excited about the latest hot education innovation. They lose their sense of perspective. It has happened even to me once or twice. When we wander off like that, we need someone with a sharp intellect and strong character to pull us back to reality.
One such person is Paul T. Hill, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and John and Marguerite Corbally Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. He has written a short, wise book, “Learning As We Go: Why School Choice is Worth the Wait,” which provides the clearest explanations I have seen for why independent public charter schools need more time to develop. Hill believes it is worth waiting for charters to make what he thinks will be widespread positive impact on the quality of education. He thinks they are more promising than a renewed fondness for strengthening bureaucracy and standardizing instruction that seems to be bubbling in some foundations and national advocacy groups.
Hill makes five simple points and more or less devotes a chapter to each. Here is what he says, with some fussing and worrying by me. If you want to add your ideas to these, or explain why these are nonsense, the comments box below awaits.