POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
It is indeed a stupid idea.
The fact is that it has already been tried in other places. It simply does not work.
In Chicago, most of the poorly performing schools in black neighborhoods were years ago renamed into various academies.
Sometimes one academy changes into another academy when the poor performance catches up with them.
Toronto's new Director of education, Chris Spence, spent his last several years in Hamilton as Director. The sum total of his real achievements is zero.
Everywhere the man ever went, a retinue of cameras followed him to produce shots like the one you have leading this story.
When the cameras were turned off, so was the Director, typically rushing out to the next place.
Football players with education degrees just won’t do it. Indeed, it is time to get genuine management and analytical ability heading our schools. Education degrees are just academic fluff.
You'll only get the best ideas in education from the best people, something our public schools fail to understand.
And that goes for the quality of teachers too. There are far too many who should never have been given a classroom. Get some people with real skills in computers and science and music in the classrooms, even if they do not have education degrees.
A name change, a photo op, and some rah-rah change nothing.
The grand thing about schemes like Chris Spence's is that by the time everyone discovers what a waste of time and money it has all been, he'll be off somewhere on a gold-plated pension.
Truly, a professional mediocre bureaucrat's dream, and it's the kind of thing that keeps getting repeated over and over again in public education, which I am sad to say sometimes resembles a giant Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme rather than a serious institution.
A new fad every decade at least. All of them flops. New silly lingo. New pretensions. New nonsense.
Meanwhile, absolutely nothing real is done about the quality of kids' education.
And nothing will until the management of education is taken out of the hands of teachers and ex-teachers with fluff education degrees and fluff ideas.