Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Drinking the 'Chicago Miracle' kool-aid

Here we go with this Chicago "model" stuff again.

Armed only with a few feel-good stories about individual teachers or charter school successes, WaPo's Maria Glod, "Chicago School Reform Could Be a U.S. Model," can't gulp down the Chicago Miracle kool-aid fast enough.

Glod claims:
The wide-ranging reforms he [Duncan] has pushed appeal to struggling school systems and highly regarded suburban districts looking to boost performance.
Sorry Maria, but I just can't imagine many "highly regarded suburban districts" finding Renaissance 2010 school closings, private management of charter schools, pay-for-grades, massive teacher firings, or NCLB testing madness very appealing. Parents in wealthy white suburbs would toss school board members out on their ass if they dared push such "reforms".

While Glod is in the dark about conditions in Chicago, she sort of gets it right on Duncan:
He has straddled the reform divide: On one side are advocates of dramatic shake-ups and tough accountability, and on the other are teachers unions and some educators who want more flexibility, support and money.
She really gets it wrong here:
For the most part, the changes came with little organized opposition, except for some skirmishes with the teachers union.
She may be right about the "organized" part, but the opposition to Ren10 (like its national counter-part NCLB), especially in communities affected the most by school closings, and massive school budget cuts, is deep and wide. I hope Obama's new team gets that.

1 comment:

  1. Actually,the opposition was quite often very well organized, for instance in the successful effort to derail the infamous "Mid-South" plan which was an early large-scale and blatant gentrification proposal.
    Steve A


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