ProJo Eds Get it Right: “Reject Caruolo”
From the Providence Journal Editors:
If George Caruolo’s blatant conflict of interest as a $5,000-a-month lobbyist for a gambling palace does not disqualify him from becoming chairman of the state board overseeing K-12 public education, his dismissal of the need for serious education reform surely should….Mr. Caruolo’s view is that all [of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist’s reform measures are] too much, too fast. “It’s not as important to get all this work done in the next 15 minutes as it is to get it done correctly,” he said.
In truth, no one has tried to reform schools in 15 minutes and get it wrong. Indeed, this has been an agonizing process, taking years of thought and effort — often in the face of gale-force opposition from economic interests that oppose upsetting the status quo.
As the editors explain, now is not the time for “thoughtful pauses.”
But exactly how long should poor and minority students trapped in Rhode Island’s badly underperforming urban schools have to wait? How long should Rhode Island parents and taxpayers put up with some of America’s highest per-pupil costs and teacher compensation, when student performance is generally mediocre, even adjusted for demographics? How many years should Rhode Islanders be happy that their students trail those of other New England states by most achievement measures? How long should the state’s economic competitiveness be damaged by graduating large numbers of students who lack the skills employers require?