I don't think the last issue of Teen People fawned as much over Justin Bieber. But you have to turn a guy into a demi-god if you're going to give him an unchallenged forum to say crap like this:
“I say straight out that there are many, many interests at work in public education,” he explains. “There are the interests of children, of course, which everyone talks about. There are the interests of employees, who have a perfectly legitimate set of interests to guard against arbitrariness and get as much economic benefit out of their work as is possible. There are commercial interests, like vendors and publishers…. The 600 districts in New Jersey have their interests as well: in expanding their power, their authority, their institutional permanence…. But the great myth of public education is that the Venn diagram of those interests is perfectly intersecting. There are areas of substantial overlap, but many areas do not. I represent the interests of the children of New Jersey, pure and simple. When there is a conflict between interests, and you would be amazed at how many issues come my way where you actually have to make a call between one interest and the other, I’m with the children. And I make that clear.” [emphasis mine]Oh, I see: everyone is out for themselves... EXCEPT for Chris Cerf, who stands with the kids! See, he's been out canoeing with them! The rest of us have just been teaching them; who the hell do we think we are?
No, it's simply not possible that Chris Cerf and that other great champion of children, Chris Christie, might have ulterior motives. Or the Son of Mario, who loves kids more than the custodians do! Obviously, teachers got into the profession for their own self-interest, while Cerf and Christie and Cuomo are as pure as the friggin' driven snow.
Yeah, no ulterior motives here.
The fawning continues:
If there is a model for the perfect modern education-reform leader, Christopher Cerf surely qualifies as that person. After a career that includes stints teaching high school history, vetting nominees for President Clinton’s first presidential administration, running a couple of businesses (Edison Schools and Sangari Global Education), and helping Joel Klein reinvent New York City’s education system, he is arguably one of the most seasoned education-reform leaders in the land.Teacher: at a tony private school.
Running Edison: yeah, running it into the ground.
Helping Joel Klein in NYC: well, helping him ruin the schools.
You know what? I'll pick this up later, after I spend a few hours beating my head against this desk...
Ah... blessed relief....
ADDING: Denial, thy name is Cerf:
“Not to rise up in defense of an organization which I haven’t been with in five years,” says Cerf, “but Edison absolutely succeeded. It was the point of the spear in the school reform movement. We had very, very high standards and we were on the leading edge of data-driven decision making…. And if you cut through the blather on the achievement record of Edison Schools, you’ll find that it was materially higher than other comparable schools in their districts, including in Philadelphia.”Unbelievable. Really, just unbelievable.
New Jersey, ask yourself: do you want your superior public schools to wind up like Edison?