Monday, February 27, 2006

Is the model generalizable? 

One way to evaluate whether some claim works or not is to ask whether you could do it elswhere. Take for example the peace studies class offered at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland. There, a very noted peace activist, the retired columnist Colman McCarthy, volunteers his time to teach the class from a book of essays he edited which the school system approved, while the high school uses some (presumably licensed) teacher to check attendance and issue grades. That's fine, and I can even manage to admire McCarthy's generosity of time.

Now let us imagine:
Would the fact that none of them are licensed teachers raise a fuss in that setting? But somehow McCarthy gets a pass by teaching under cover of some other school district employee.

As Bill Quick points out, the first agenda of public education isn't education.