Start with a clean slate for schools…

Whenever the topic of School or Educational reform comes up between my friends and me, I always argue that you can’t talk about school reform in the incremental.

You must talk about it wholesale.

Destroy everything and start all over.

Go in with zero pre-conceived ideas. Have only a list of results in mind for what a great K-12 education system should accomplish.

Do you even need grades (e.g. K-12)?

Do you even need grades as in A through F?

How big should a class be?

Who should teach? or lead? or mentor? or simply point the way to the books and other resources?

What should their training be?

Only by asking these questions can you talk about school reform.

Otherwise, all other discussions (class-size, periods per day, curriculum, teacher qualifications/pay and even school design) are just an exercise in futility.

An article yesterday in the Washington Post makes this same argument:

We Can Pay Teachers More

New Orleans

“No Man’s Land” is a very popular year-long story arc in the Batman comic book series. Gotham City is first hit with an outbreak of a disease and then by an Earthquake.

The federal government orders an immediate evacuation of the city.

Those that can leave, do.

Those that can’t – or choose not to because it is their home – stay behind.

Lawlessness breaks out, and the federal government declares it off-limits.

The military cordons off the area forbidding anyone from entering or leaving.

It is of course fictional.

But watching the news accounts of what is happening along the gulf coast and in New Orleans itself – it is hard to avoid the similarities.

From The Washington Post Chris Lawrence of CNN reported on the fire from a rooftop on a police station, where he said officers were “barricaded” because of people “shooting at the station.

“It’s very hard to tell [what's happening],” he said. “The Fire Department can’t get near the building without a police escort.”

The New Orleans airport, meanwhile, was being converted into a major military staging point for the arrival of supplies and troops.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the city and everyone left behind.