Can public schools really change?
Why New Haven’s ambitious new education strategy might actually succeed.
Original article in Slate by Emily Bazelon.
In 2009, New Haven’s school district and teachers’ union signed a groundbreaking contract for the 21,000-student system. The four-year deal included a small annual pay hike—and allowed the district to give merit bonuses, close failing schools, and evaluate teachers based in part on student performance. The contract’s reform-minded provisions brought praise to a struggling urban district, from admirers including Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, and New York Times columnists David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof. Three years later, there are signs that cultural change is coming, too, in fits and starts. It’s especially evident in the district’s unusual effort to groom future leaders by handing them over to a local charter network that it used to view as an upstart threat.
To read the complete article, visit Slate.