Whether I advocate that or not depends on your definition of "somewhat autocratic." In the case I'd been thinking of, principals in the state we'd been talking about (I think California) couldn't even decide whether to install soda-machines in their schools. If empowering them to do that is "somewhat autocratic" to you, then yes -- I do support somewhat autocratic regimes of principals.
Schools and their faculty and staff have one purpose and that is to educate and serve the interests of the children who attend them. Very often, personal beliefs, likes and/or dislikes of the school personnel - including the principal and teachers don't and can't enter into fulfilling that purpose - which is to educate and serve the interests of the children who attend the school.
No, I would not feel comfortable working in or having my children attend a school in a system in which any one person- superintendent, head teacher, principal, anyone at all- were handed the power to unilaterally make decisions and override the consensus of the school community which includes students, parents, faculty and staff.
So, no- I do NOT support somewhat autocratic regimes of principals or anyone else associated with a school system.
In my experience, the satisfaction of parents with their school usually has much more complicated reasons than "low-performing" vs. "high performing".
Well, in my experience that is what people who are parents look at FIRST when deciding where to buy a house or live so that their children can receive a quality education.
Under a voucher system, which is what I was advocating, the students who leave would take the funds for their education with them. Consequently, the higher-performing school could hire teachers to accomodate them.
Would this voucher system include funds to expand the building- adding classrooms for all these new students and additional teachers in one building- while another school building sat emptied a few miles away?
Not really, no. What kind of negative effects are you thinking of?
Overcrowding for one. A sudden and large influx of lesser prepared students from a lower functioning school would invariably have an effect on the classroom atmosphere and performance in a higher functioning school.
But that's not my point or concern. My point and main concern is that every student in the US deserves the same opportunity for a quality education in their school. The answer is not to abandon schools. The answer is to fix them.
Your name-calling, however, isn't going to help.
I don't call people names Thomas- not even 'testy'.
such a glib and reactionary piece [...]OF ADVICE
such knee-jerk and reactionary PIECE OF ADVICE.
That doesn't mean that I think YOU are glib and reactionary.
(I'm not just saying this out of vanity -- chances are that most people who have disagreed with me on A2K would confirm that.)
I'm the sort who makes my own observations and develops opinions from those- and I don't make those opinions without thought and evidence. And in fact I didn't have the impression that YOU were or are glib and reactionary.
But I think that telling a parent that if their school isn't working for any of the children that the answer is simply to abandon it and go to another one is sort of a glib reaction to a more complicated issue.