The Ground Floor of the Titanic

Heaven knows I’ve compared DISD to the Titanic on more than one occasion.  “We’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.” “It’s like trying to steer the Titanic.” But that was all in reference to the behemoth size of the district’s bureaucracy.  What about some of the mammoth “reforms” that Dallas (and other districts) have undertaken?  (Dallas’ forays into Dual-Language education, or the Institute for Learning come to mind.)

Nancy Flanagan, in Teacher in a Strange Land, ponders what to do when the educational reforms a district or state has invested years of time and money into seem doomed to failure:

Don’t want to go full-bore nautical metaphor here–it’s as irritating as constant sports analogies–but seriously: What if the reform vessel you invested a decade’s worth of time and money into appeared to be ineffective, at best–or even downright useless in getting us where we wanted to go? Would you sail on, emphasizing the need to stay on schedule? Would you offer federal money to states who agree to sign on as passengers? Would you launch a slick advertising campaign to allay concerns?

Or would you change course–even rebuild the ship?


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