Friday, September 23, 2011

Top School Leadership: fooled or fools?

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with the important matters.
-- Albert Einstein
Is there any more telling evidence of the failure of American education than the blather promulgated by Harold O. Levy, New York City school chancellor from 2000 to 2002 and trustee of several colleges (New York Times, 6/8/09)?

Every child should attend school until age 19 because, Levy says,
The benefits of an extra year of schooling are beyond question: high school graduates can earn more than dropouts, have better health, more stable lives and a longer life expectancy.
This is a clear confusion, at best, of correlation with cause. Besides, Levy compares kids who might take an extra year of school with dropouts, when the much more important comparison should be between those who graduate with the present limit of 18 years and those who might take an extra year. Why incur the costs of an extra year of school if it makes little difference as to who graduates?

Is this so deep that even a chancellor can’t understand it? Or is another agenda at work here?

To examine these issues further, see Illogic and Dissimulation in School Reform