Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Optimistic About Charter Schools

Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Optimistic About Charter Schools

Why you should care

Because Rome wasn’t educated in a day, or even a century.

On a recent episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver added his distinct voice to the chorus of critics indicting the mismanagement and uneven performance of America’s almost 7,000 charter schools. Another outspoken provocateur who is more bullish, however, on the potential of the charter movement is Malcolm Gladwell.

The best-selling author, who has worked with the public charter school movement KIPP for years and who examined how the KIPP Academy in the Bronx has benefited lower-income students in his book Outliers, recognizes there is a great deal of skepticism about whether such movements can find proven strategies for success. But, as he recently told OZY’s Carlos Watson at OZY Fusion Fest in New York’s Central Park, we are forgetting one very important variable when it comes to such reform movements — and there are no easy shortcuts around it.

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