EconLog | Arnold Kling | Schools without Classrooms:I think the idea that reform is equivalent to reform for low-end students is very destructive. In everything I have read about education, and everything I saw Mrs SB7 read when she was getting her teaching certificate last year, I have never seen anyone who did not treat it as an iron-bound axiom that reforming things for the bottom of the distribution was the highest priority. Often it was the only priority.
Most education reformers want to focus on low-end students. While this is a noble idea, I think it is not a good path for reform. When you fail, you do not know whether it is because the innovations were not good or because the student population is too difficult to reach.
Maybe that is the correct approach, but I would like that to be demonstrated to me rather than being assumed into truth.
For instance, how many times have you heard someone say some variation on "we need our best and brightest young teachers in inner city schools"? That might be the correct resource allocation, but why? Might it better to match up the very best teachers with the very best students? I am more than willing to hear reasons why that would be bad, but I am not interested in assertions that it would be bad.