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10 Ways School Reformers Get It Wrong

When it comes to education reform, we're not trying to reinvent the wheel anymore; instead, we're building square ones.

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Schools for-profit drain public resources into profits, not performance. Public charter schools are a different proposition. These are inventions that add to the diversity of the public education environment. They aren’t in themselves answers to any of the questions we face, but they are a new and valuable source of wide-scale experimentation in what could be done to achieve improvements. If they capture greater parent interest, if they spark the interests of young people who otherwise were disinterested, if they find new ways to create relationships of trust between adults and students, if they bring parents into the school and bring the school into the community, they will serve us well.

Colin Greer is president of the New World Foundation in New York. Among his books is A Call to Character (HarperCollins, 1995).