For Americans who are unfamiliar with this British drama, Katharine Birbalsingh is the British deputy headteacher of an Anglican school in London who “outed” herself as a conservative and spoke passionately about the shortcomings of the educational system in the UK (many of which are shared here, as Michelle Rhee has found out) at a Conservative party conference:
I have to admit, this is one of the most stunning speeches I have ever heard on the subject of education. Here in Tennessee, we’re about to elect a new Republican governor, and Bill Haslam could do a lot worse that appoint Birbalsingh or the likes of her as our Commissioner of Education.
After all, as I pointed out in the end matter of the Positive Infinity New Testament, the UK managed to fill up two continents with people who wanted or had to leave those fair isles. Looks like there’s one more to be added to that number.
This is also a warning (and one which my outgoing Congressman, Zach Wamp, has made) in all of this. The voucher system, so opposed by rabid secularist and educational trade unionist alike, has been promised to both broaden the choices people have with regard to the nature of the school their child goes to and to improve the quality of the education. Birbalsingh’s experience in an Anglican school shows that neither can be accomplished when the situation calls for it, both because of the innate solidarity of the educational class and because of the all of the requirements that come with taking state funds.