Justin Cohen, an education writer working on his first book, shares the first part of an interview he did with Jeremy Knight of Students For Education Reform (SFER). Jeremy breaks from what Cohen calls “reform orthdoxy” based on his own personal experiences and explains the importance of organizing communities for the long term instead of the short term.
If reform is happening to a community, and not with a community, nine times out of 10 it won’t work. If there’s progress at all, it will be a bumpy road. In New Orleans, there’s great academic progress, but the community is disgruntled. How long can that last? Newark is another example. If leadership isn’t representative of, and listening to, the community, it cannot last.