Katherine Kersten (www.minnpost.com).
by Steve Timmer
Jun 11, 2012, 7:30 PM

Katie lights the exploding cigar II

You’ll remember that I concluded that Katherine Kersten was the proponent of two incompatible propositions:

1) The achievement gap is evidence that public schools are failing.

2) More resources for public schools won’t help because minority kids perform worse because of factors unrelated to the schools.

Katie worries that very thing that she and her “education reform” pals were complaining about − the achievement gap − is being taken seriously:

[Radical new educational policy] would redefine educational “equity” in a way that would shift the focus of fairness in our schools from equal opportunities to equal academic outcomes on the part of all racial and ethnic groups. Schools that failed to produce equal outcomes would — by definition — be operating in a discriminatory and unconstitutional way. [emphasis added]

But now, Katie wants us forget about outcomes; it’s opportunity that counts! The achievement gap is about opportunities!

Except, of course, it’s not. Achievement and outcome are synonymous here.

Live by the sword; die by the sword, Katie. The “educational reform” movement thought it could beat up on public schools, defund them and defame them as a simple way to turn all the education dollars over to private enterprise. But they forgot the little things, like the equitable public school education requirement, such as the one found in Article XIII, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution:

UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.

As Kersten acknowledges, this could be a real ass biter:

In adequacy suits, plaintiffs portray the learning gap as evidence that a state is not providing all students with the “adequate” education its Constitution requires. As a remedy, they seek billions of dollars in new K-12 funding and sometimes a school busing plan to distribute students metrowide on the basis of race.

Don’t you love Katie’s use of the word “portray?” Especially since that’s what she been doing for years, using the achievement gap for her own nefarious purposes?

But it will be fun to watch Katie, Pat Garofalo, Terri Bonoff, and the rest of the corporate school gang explain themselves when their words are thrown back in their faces. I, for one, am looking forward to the prospect.

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