The shooting of three Newark teenagers against the wall at a local elementary school playground earlier this week doesn’t have much to do with education but may have a lot to do with education reform. First, it has put reform-minded Newark mayor Cory Booker on the defensive, potentially disrupting his efforts to revamp the state’s largest urban school system. Second, as The Gadfly reminds us, it highlights the utter uselessness of NCLB’s unsafe schools option. That’s also a timely reminder of what happens when states and districts are allowed to come up with their own definitions (in this case, for “persistently dangerous”). Congressman Miller may say he wants a law that’s fair and flexible, but we should all worry about what happens if he gets his wish.
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