Let's hear it for spam, or mailing lists, or for the cybergods who sent an interesting announcement to me this morning. "nuPOLIS: Scalable Innovations for Communities" is a new aggregate website--blogs, news, commentary, etc. Much of it is about education and this paragraph from this article, was stunning to read:
Pause for a moment to reflect on these numbers: 51 failing schools in Boston, two dozen failing high schools in Detroit. In just two cities, that's 75 schools with, say, 500 students each, for a total of 35,000 students--mostly low-income, minority, and immigrant kids--stuck in failing schools.
As one colleague put it, "That puts a real face on it." Yes it does.
It's a great article about ways in which civic leaders, elected officials, and others are trying to work around existing urban systems to improve otherwise intractable failing schools. Whatever one might say about the cause of a failing school--teacher unions, corruption, under-funding--if we are truly thinking about the kids, there is no time for discussion of blame. The men and women are making drastic, though unpopular changes are at least trying something and considering those 35,000 students, those men and women sound like heroes.