When some 400 parents and students from 18 cities around the country descended upon the DOE last week, it got pretty good media coverage. Their message to Arne Duncan -- school closings, mandated under his Race To The Top program, are disrupting lives and destabilizing neighborhoods and are in violation of Civil Rights law.
This piece, by James Cersonsky, "Pushing Arne Duncan to Fast-Forward," was posted in The American Prospect.
Tuesday’s hearing elevated these voices. Students and parents told endless stories of harsh school discipline, inexperienced teachers, missing textbooks, and untenable class sizes. The cause of all this, virtually every speaker claimed, is disenfranchisement: Stakeholders are buried by state and local receivers who have no interest in listening to their constituents, and the federal government seems more intent on experimentation than racial justice. “Racism is well and alive in this country,” said 76-year-old Helen Moore, co-chairperson of Detroit’s Keep the Vote-No Takeover. “We are the descendants of slaves. We are now reversing back to slavery.”Duncan stayed in the meeting for a half-hour and then left the meeting without making any commitments.
Also see, "Activists to U.S. Education Department: Stop school closings now" in the Washington Post.
A 2009 University of Chicago study found that most students displaced by school closings between 2001 and 2006 showed no academic impact.And even FOX picked it up.