A great many children left behind

December 11th, 2015
dalerussakoff1.jpgThere is a school of thought in crisis management that says, if you have a completely intractable problem, sometimes the only solution is to create a larger problem.  In fact, to blow things up to the point where you get to start over. Sometimes that’s a strategy that happens not just by design, but by outcome.

When then Newark Mayor Cory Booker, N.J. Governor Chris Christie and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg put together a plan that they thought would completely reform and transform Newark schools back in 2010, they thought they were doing the right thing.  However what they did was reminiscent of what Ronald Reagan declared as the most terrifying phrases in the English language…”I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

What they did, what they failed at and even what they succeeded at, shows how incredibly hard it is to be transformative in public education.  This is the story told by Dale Russakoff in The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

My conversation with Dale Russakoff: