As a teacher, I totally agree with Morna McDermott's assessments of city school CEO Andrés Alonso's performance ("The fallacy of reform," May 18) over the past six years. She speaks the truth. Mr. Alonso has proven to be a fine salesman. Surely, the school board, mayor and state think so. They have practically given him carte blanche.
But where are the "goods" in terms of student performance (passing test scores, learning outcomes)? None. Goes to prove that "everything new and shiny isn't always best." Mr. Alonso sounds great; he talks a good game and wields a hammer like Thor. However, he throws sun rays than yield thunder and lightning. Even his pride and joy, the charter (or "Choice") schools, haven't taught or graduated our children any better than the local schools. In fact, they have done less with more funds and leeway budget-wise. Instead, the spread of charter schools has drained the neighborhoods and destabilized the infrastructure, the soul of the system.
Ultimately, the charter licenses are revoked and the schools returned to city auspices after three or four years. Most of their students are rejected and returned to their previous schools within a year.
Kudos to Ms. McDermott. Mr. Alonso's reforms haven't helped anyone except himself and his image as visionary and reformist. Ask any city teacher.
Lobibah Oji Baraka, Baltimore