Just when you thought you’d not hear from Arlene Ackerman again, she has an editorial show up on Philly.com. But I think it’s a fake.
Having worked in the school reform camp for a bit, I’ve seen this editorial before, I think. A reform group asks a leader to pen a short editorial that quietly extols their virtues without ever saying their name. In this case, my bet is that Michelle Rhee and Students First are behind this op-ed.
But here’s what Ackerman has to say on their behalf:
Before my tenure as superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, I had always believed the best way to improve access to quality education for low-income families was to implement needed reforms from within the education system. Recently, I’ve come to a sad realization. Real reform will never come from within the system because too many powers that be (the teachers’ union, politicians, consultants, vendors, etc.) have a vested interested in maintaining the status quo that is failing our children.
Meaningful education reform must be forced upon the system from outside by giving parents of all income levels real choices about where their children go to school. That requires giving parents comprehensive school choice that includes an expanded charter-school system and a voucher program for low-income parents with children trapped in a failing school.