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Education advocates explain why Tata was always a bad fit

In case you missed them, a couple of local education policy experts had some insightful takes on the departure of fired Wake schools chief, Anthony Tata in recent days. 

First, Chris Hill, Director of the Education and Law Project at the North Carolina Justice Center explained how Tata represents a problematic trend in modern education in the most recent edition of his project’s newsletter At the Schoolhouse Door. 

“The troubling thing about Gen. Tata is that his background was not in education—he spent 28 years in the military after his graduation from West Point. His work in education began in the District of Columbia Schools as chief operating officer under another polarizing education figure, Michelle Rhee. Tata is a part of the effort to bring people from other areas, particularly business leaders, into the public education system.

Part of the movement to privatize schools is the rhetoric that schools should be run like businesses. This mindset helped to create the Broad Superintendents Academy, from which Gen. Tata graduated. The Academy puts leaders through five training weekends over 18 months so the graduates can go on to lead urban school districts. You might call them “microwave educators.”

While the program participants are likely well-meaning and really want to help children, five weekends, no matter how intensive, cannot possibly create the knowledge or experience needed to run a school system.”

You can read Hill’s entire column by clicking here.

Meanwhile, over on the Parents Across America blog,  local attorney and children’s advocate Jason Langberg was even more pointed:

“Usually someone losing his job would not be occasion to celebrate, and typically I wouldn’t find happiness in another’s misfortune. However, as an education justice attorney, the partner of a public school teacher, and soon-to-be father of a future public school student, I can’t help it.  The Broad Foundation and market-based deforms are bad for public education. Segregation, wasteful spending, and ongoing conflict are bad for public education. Ultimately, Tata was bad for public education. WCPSS desperately needed a fresh start. (Plus, I suspect Tata will land on his feet with a lucrative position in a more conservative school system, with a think tank, or like, Peter Gorman, a fellow Broadie and former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent, with a corporation that profits from dismantling public education.)

Now the BOE can and hopefully will, after soliciting meaningful input from students, parents, teachers and principals, hire a new superintendent who has extensive experience as a teacher and principal, a demonstrated commitment to equity and fairness, and a personality that lends itself to achieving unity, healing, and a renewed focus on children.”

 You can read all of Langberg’s post by clicking here.

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