To the Editor:
Carl A. Cohn’s Commentary “Empowering Those at the Bottom Beats Punishing Them From the Top” (April 25, 2007) was powerful in describing how the American system of education has gone through so many phases of reform, yet still searches for answers with staying power to the problems that beset it. His last paragraph conveys the human element that is needed to bring about real school reform—so simple, yet so hard to believe.
Educators with a passion for their craft will use any means necessary to reach their students to empower them to believe that they can achieve. It is fine to have programs and materials, but it is the human element Mr. Cohn speaks of that will make the differences in the success or failure of education reform. When that and the question “Is it good for the children?” are overlooked, reform is doomed to failure.
Kansas City, Mo.
A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2007 edition of Education Week as It’s the Human Element That Powers Reform