I saw the above debate this morning. It’s pretty entertaining. It seemed (and I don’t know this for a fact since I didn’t time it) that Anderson Cooper was giving Steve Perry a bit more time to talk than Randi Weingarten, but the question is interesting–what do you do about a school that is somehow failing?
In general, I would agree with Steve Perry. When groups don’t perform, it’s sometimes best just to change the leaders and/or players, and with a cut for those making above $72k a year in a poor school district, you’re most likely going to take out leaders. Shutting the school down isn’t necessarily a bad thing either; if people associate a school with failure, it may be most efficient just to start over again. At the very least, it will send a message to underperforming teachers and difficult teaching unions.
That being said, kids are a long-term investment. I think it’s hard to give people money and then expect things to change overnight. Especially with schools, longevity and loyalty are good things. Kids ought to feel that their school will be there for them. Loyalty to schools is different from loyalty to, say, one’s favorite clothing brand. It’s a hard, multifaceted issue.