Friday, March 6, 2009

Stop blaming teachers, Noguera urges Obama, Duncan

In CNN interview:

We must avoid the tendency that has become popular in some political circles to blame teachers and unions for the failings of our schools, says NYU prof and education activist Pedro Noguera.
"Unions must play a greater role in addressing the performance of their members, but we must also acknowledge that if unions were the problem, the South would have the best schools."
Noguera puts pressure on Obama and Duncan to do the right thing with the education stimulus package. He wants the money used to encourage school districts to raise standards and improve the learning environment, especially in under-resourced urban schools.

He then asks Obama to "recognize that one of the unintended consequences of using test scores as a barometer for judging schools has been that many schools have narrowed the focus of the curriculum to test preparation."

As for Charters, Noguera says:
The most successful charter schools -- and let's be clear, not all charters are successful -- have demonstrated that increased autonomy, combined with site-based decision-making over the use of resources, can sometimes contribute to greater effectiveness. There is no reason why similar strategies cannot be deployed in regular public schools.
Read the entire article here.

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