The Real Agenda

The Culture of Can’t in America

I clicked in with interest, because Rick Hess doesn’t usually offer a routine perspective.

When it comes to reforming our nation’s public schools, we hear a lot about what educational leaders can’t do. Contracts, laws, and regulations assuredly handcuff school and system leaders. But the ardent drumbeat for “reform” has obscured the fact that school and system leaders can actually do much that they often complain they can’t, if they have the persistence, knowledge, ingenuity, and motivation. In truth, it’s tough to know how much blame should be apportioned to contracts and laws and how much to timid school boards and leaders who prize consensus and stakeholder buy-in.

Sounds promising but apparently, the only thing Hess thinks that leaders can do that they say they can’t do is 1) be creative in getting around LIFO and 2) use a phone to go through some of the more annoying consequences of giving a negative evaluation.

Think bold, move from Can’t to Can, and all he can come up with is a few procedural suggestions to get creative in firing teachers?

You’d think he could just say so. Title the article “Firing teachers: It’s not as hard as you think!”

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