Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

I’m Sorry, I Just Can’t Help Myself: Bennett Scandal Is A Gift That Keeps On Giving

| 0 comments

Yesterday, I posted about the Tony Bennett scandal (see Priceless, Amazing & Disappointing: “GOP donor’s school grade changed”).

Today, I see that in one of his emails he wrote:

I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past 6 months.

What’s also amazing to me is the gyrations that some school reformers are doing to defend Bennett. Mike Petrilli, who is usually a little more level-headed and who I respect, wrote a piece that I think is far below his usual standard. It’s picked apart ably in the comments there, though I’d like to highlight one left by Paul Bruno, commenting in particular on the fact that the post describes the charter school at the center of the scandal as “super high performing”:

To what extent is it really “known” that the school was “super high performing”? And if it’s so easy to know how well schools are doing prior to grading, what’s the point of the elaborate letter grading system that we’re just going to adjust post-hoc until it lines up with our prior model?

I did love one of Mike’s other lines, though, and it’s one that I plan on using often:

The problem wasn’t the schools, it was the metric.

I just wonder if Mike and other “school reformers” realize that so many of the points they are making in defense of Bennett support what many of us having been saying for a long time about the folly of grading schools and using test-scores as the key measurement of a teacher and school’s quality?

The Bennett fiasco is the latest in a fairly consistent amount of hypocrisy among a fair number (though by no means all) “school reformers” — whether its opposing class size reduction for others while sending their children to schools that have small classes; or pushing huge changes in public classrooms while their kids go to private schools that take the opposite approaches to education, or any number of other instances.

Print Friendly

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.