Now she's figured out that those methods don't work. Here's the best quotation from the Times article I'm linking to:
“Nations like Finland and Japan seek out the best college graduates for teaching positions, prepare them well, pay them well and treat them with respect,” she said. “They make sure that all their students study the arts, history, literature, geography, civics, foreign languages, the sciences and other subjects. They do this because this is the way to ensure good education. We’re on the wrong track.”Well, duh. You don't need a doctorate in history to figure these things out. It's been obvious to me from the start that free-market methods aren't the right way to improve the public schools, which are a civic virtue, not a profit-making enterprise. No Child Left Behind has always looked to me like a way to eventually define every public school as failing, as a way to destroy public education.
If we paid teachers the salaries we pay software engineers, if we provided appropriate support and mentoring for new teachers, if we didn't isolate teachers from each other, if we paid for good buildings, good textbooks, and enough supplies, if we provided teachers' aids and reading specialists (California once did this, back in the days when we had the best public schools in the country)....well, we could have great schools everywhere. But take a look at the size of the defense budget and Americans' current views of taxation, and you'll see why we don't.