This above linked article’s highlights:
- The Department of Education is not releasing key data and asks us to take their word for the fact that supposedly, 2/3 of schools are seeing improvements under Secretary Duncan’s reforms.
- Secretary Duncan “reaffirmed his committment to using federal incentives as a lever for education policy changes. In his first term, that leverage came in the form of $100 billion in education aid from the 2009 federal economic-stimulus package, and later, from the announcement that the administration would grant waivers and flexibility from key parts of the NCLB law.”
- [This Duncan speech was made to a self-appointed group, the CCSSO, which holds a copyright on the Common Core federally-approved national education standards. ] The article says Gene Wilhoit, the CCSSO’s executive director, is retiring—passing the torch to Chris Minnich. And one of the group’s board members, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, who helped create a separate group of “Chiefs for Change,” was not re-elected. He did not attend the meeting, but his successor and the victor in that race, Glenda Ritz, did. [This is a big deal because it was the Indiana parents against Common Core who helped educate the voters and helped give Tony Bennett the boot. Hallelujah!]
See another commentary on the same subject of SIG (School Improvement Grants):
I like what Andy Smarick has to say about the fact that the Dept. of Education just spend billions on education reforms that did not work. He writes:
“Now we face a fork in the road.
We can do what we’ve done for decades. That would mean allowing this story to get buried or, despite the evidence, hoping that SIG results will improve if we only give the program more money and time. Then, in a decade or so, some other contrarian blogger can add SIG to the long list of failed turnaround efforts.
Or we can finally recognize that we’re dealing with a much bigger problem. We can accept that “turnaround” efforts are not a path to ensuring low-income urban kids get a great education; that dysfunctional schools are a function of dysfunctional districts; that we need to close these schools, open new schools, and allow great schools to replicate and expand.
In other words, we need a new approach to the ongoing failure of our city school systems—one that stops behaving as though the broken schools of yesterday need to be the schools of tomorrow, one that stops jamming scarce resources into dysfunctional systems that remain impervious to reform and improvement.
Said another way: The traditional urban school system is broken. It cannot be fixed. It must be replaced. “