The Common Good
November 2012

Uplift vs. Escapism

by Julie Woestehoff | November 2012

Regarding Nicole Baker Fulgham’s “Beyond ‘Superman’” (September-October 2012): As a public school parent advocate, I have a front-row seat to many suggested educational “reforms.” The only strategy with strong, long-term research support is embodied in Fulgham’s heartfelt recommendation that all stakeholders have a stronger, more meaningful voice in school decision-making.

School closures disrupt and fragment communities. Replacing struggling neighborhood schools with charter schools leaves too many children behind; we have documented the punitive, often financially burdensome discipline and push-out policies of some of the most heavily promoted charter schools.
We need to do better than provide selective escape routes for some students—we need to focus on strategies that will raise up schools for all children: more meaningful parent involvement, lower class size, safe environments, curriculum beyond standardized testing, and better support for teachers.


                                                                                                                                             Julie Woestehoff
                                                                                                                                                Chicago, Illinois



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