How Obama Can Fix Schools

Education’s odd couple—Al Sharpton and New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein—have coauthored an article about closing the achievement gap between white and minority students in today’s Wall Street Journal. Among their prescriptions: First, develop national standards. “Our current state-by-state approach has spawned a race to the bottom, with many states dumbing down standards to make it easier for students to pass achievement tests.” Second, the federal government should restructure teacher payments so teachers who work in high-poverty urban schools are rewarded for their service. “Study after study shows that good teachers have, by far, the highest impact on student learning. … Teachers, teachers, teachers. The fierce urgency of now cannot be allowed to dissipate into the sleepy status quo of tomorrow.”