Thursday, March 18, 2010

Education Reform Debate

At The New Republic’s online symposium on education reform, Kevin Carey attacks Diane Ravitch’s baseball analogy. He writes, “Diane, you live in Brooklyn--haven't you heard of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, whose nine starters averaged 25 home runs apiece during the regular season? If the teachers in the Bronx were as good as the baseball players, students there would learn much more.”

Everyone has heard of the New York Yankees. Carey, perhaps, hasn’t heard that there are small market teams that have to make do with a single all-star or three or four all-stars. Schools are small market teams who have to rely on Sabermetrics and a few defensive specialists, not the bombers who earn the Bronx its fame.

Further, the fact that the Yankees “averaged 25 home runs apiece” doesn’t really help his argument. Under most state implementations of NCLB rules a team average isn’t good enough. Every player needs to hit .300 and 25 home runs.

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