This post from Diane Ravitch on celebrity policymakers is disturbing, but not surprising.
A response from a reader in Michigan caught my eye:
This is part of a trend I’ve seen here in Michigan – celebrity policy-making. .. Jalen Rose, a former University of Michigan basketball star, talked to them [the Michigan legislature] about education and the need for more charter schools. He was an expert, I guess, being about to open a charter school in Detrot. His qualifications, other than as a basketball star, we’re that he had attended Detroit Public Schools and he had lots of money.
Much of the positive press on charter schools is coming from celebrities or companies who have the money to fund charter schools and push their own agendas. Much of the rhetoric expounding the potential drawbacks of charter schools and various degrees of privitization come from non-celebrities (like me). Of course, what are people more likely to hear? Who’s more likely to get an audience with the state legislature? The celebrity, of course. Never mind the many years of experience of real educational experts in our nation’s classrooms and universities.
Again, disturbing, but not surprising.