Friday, October 22, 2010

Might be too heavy for Superman to lift

After Meg Whitman's campaign literature has extolled the documentary "Waiting for Superman," and repeatedly slammed Jerry Brown for being in the pockets (or on the strings) of the teacher's union, the NY Review of Books takedown of the movie is worth reading. It's a bit long, but basically skewers the idea that charter schools are a panacea, something that I saw in Michigan back when I was working on the Ann Arbor Guide for SGI. We ended up running a sidebar (now lost to the sands of time) based largely on a couple reports that came out reporting that charter schools were by and large unstable money-sucks with terrible academic records, mired in terrible real estate deals and often tainted by insane religious indoctrination.

Sorry, guys, while public schools are fucked up, charters aren't a magic bullet. And I say this as someone who got lucky enough to go to the alternative schools in Ann Arbor.

I will also take this brief moment to stump for James Herndon's The Way It Spozed To Be and How To Survive In Your Native Land, both great, funny books about teaching and education.

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