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September 27, 2003

Spittle and Shit

Since I am in the mood to be uncharitable, I call upon the demons of the dark to rise and fly away with the souls of Whittle and Schmidt, who have at long last spent the last of their credibility as well as their investor's last dimes.

Didn't I just tell y'all about this kind of crap?

So, what supposedly happens is, after years of pounding Happy Valley's tax dollars down this rat hole and getting nothing back but sullen 18-year-olds with pierced tongues and ambitions of someday owning their own Harley-Davidson Fat Boys, the Happy Valley Board of Education rises up in its righteous wrath and says, hey, let's get Edison Schools to turn this operation around (or words to that effect).

And in comes Whittle and his sidekicks -- turnaround plans at the ready. Out comes the new, get-smart-quick curriculum, the new computers for the teachers and every kid above the second grade, the new books and study aids and the new "facilities upgrades."

The IPO registration statement is overflowing with education bafflegab about "family and community partnerships" and that sort of thing. There's talk about "early learning" and "core values" and something called "norm-referenced tests" (beats me what that is). Yet in the entire 275-page document there's only a single paragraph purporting to show that the result of all the effort is really better educated, brighter kids.

The graph in question says that kids in Edison schools score better on certain unnamed state and national tests than do kids nationwide on other kinds of tests. But the graph goes on to say that the two kinds of tests are not "strictly comparable."

Heave Ho.

Posted by mbowen at September 27, 2003 11:46 PM

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