Finally, someone articulated what has been on my mind for years, and yes the symptoms can be found locally as well from CMS (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) in particular.
I recently read a post by Larry Cuban about the difficulty of “scaling up successful reforms,” and I was reminded how much I dislike the application of industrial terminology to schooling. Larry offers some examples of successful efforts to “scale up,” but I question the effort itself.
While it is possible for schools to adopt and adapt a program or a practice that has worked out for others, the very idea of reproducing cookie-cutter schools designed to get high test scores invalidates the professional wisdom of educators. You can stamp out cars and tools with the right equipment, but you can’t reproduce good schools via mechanical processes.
People who work in business, industry, finance, or the tech sector like to speak of “scaling up,” of “innovation,” of “best practices,” and of “replication,” which they know how to do.
They are frustrated that success in one school is not easily packaged…
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