Interviewed on NPR's Talk of the Nation, Arne Duncan does his usual speed rap. Some good stuff--calls for massive support for early childhood education--sorry Chester Finn. He counter attacks S.C. Gov. Sanford who originally refused stim money for schools--great. But mostly empty cliches: "move outside our comfort zone," education is today's "civil rights issue," "definition of insanity..." He knows 'em all.
Re: merit pay: "In every other sector of our country, we reward excellence."-- Not true, according to Fair Test's Monty Neil. He tells us that performance pay is fairly rare in general and in professions.
Duncan says he wants to pay [only?] math and science teachers more money. He wants to replicate Harlem Children's Zone in 20 communities. OK!
But then he drops a bomb on the teachers who work in the toughest schools and neighborhoods. Regarding schools where children are far behind and "not being successful", Duncan paints with a broad brush:
"We educators quite frankly are at fault. We perpetuate poverty and we perpetuate social failure."Since Duncan isn't (has never been) a teacher, I wonder who the "WE" is?
College dropout rates
Dennis Littky, founder of the MET School in Providence, tweets:
"4 in 10 low income students graduate from our city high schools,,,you think that is bad? Colleges graduate. 1 in 10! Why no fuss?"Inching Toward Equity
Gloria Ladson-Billings argues that if Brown v. Board (school desegregation) isn't going to be taken seriously than at least give us "a real Plessy v. Ferguson."
A real Plessy would mean that across this country, Black, Latina/o, American Indian, poor and immigrant students would have the same facilities as their White, middle-income peers. They would have a profession of teachers with the wisdom, qualifications and skills needed to provide high-quality instruction – not a “force” of novice teachers who, although eager, are unprepared and under-prepared to teach. They would have access to the same curricula and courses. They would have the same educational materials—textbooks, technology, science laboratory supplies, and fine arts supplies. And they would have the same funding to provide for their schooling. (Forum for Education & Democracy)