Update: What Gail Collins Gets Wrong About NCLB
A couple of folks didn't like it much when, using that Twitter thing, I attempted to rain on their parade of passing around Gail Collins' recent column (A Very Pricey Pineapple). The column makes the case that education is being privatized, and that Pearson in particular and in general is taking over, and that NCLB is the cause of it all. Collins writes:
"No Child Left Behind has created a system of public-funded charter schools, a growing number of which are run by for-profit companies... An American child could go to a public school run by Pearson, studying from books produced by Pearson, while his or her progress is evaluated by Pearson standardized tests."
Where to start? Well, most charters aren't run by for-profit companies, so that's pretty much a red herring. NCLB didn't invent or have any real direct impact on creating more charters (charter funding preceded NCLB and there were very few charter conversions). The transfer provision was used very little. Far as I know, Pearson does not yet run any charter schools.