Friday, July 3, 2009

The 'Four Assurances'

In recent speeches, Arne Duncan answers the question I asked last week--what do you (states) have to do to keep him from dropping "a ton of bricks" on your head? Answer--Give Arne four assurances.
...adopting rigorous standards; recruiting and retaining effective teachers; turning around chronically low-performing schools; and building data systems to track student achievement and teacher effectiveness. (Ed Review) h/t Bob Pearlman
Bricks will also fall if you restrict the growth of charter schools (only good ones, of course) or turnarounds.

The good news is that he leaves some openings for turnaround efforts besides the Gates "model" of just closing thousands of urban schools or turning them over to private charter operators.
“We have four basic models in mind,” including awarding planning grants in the fall so new principals and lead teachers can develop curricula to meet students’ needs, followed by recruiting new teachers in the spring; turning the school over to a charter or for-profit management organization; changing the school culture through a variety of actions (for example, extending learning time for students); and closing low-performing schools and re-enrolling the students in superior schools." (Turning Around Low-Performing Schools)
The other point of note is that Duncan, while continuing to make charters a centerpiece in his reform strategy, has opened the door to the AFT and NEA to organize charter school teachers and/or create union charter schools.

Is this the reason hard-line anti-union charterites, like the Chicago Civic Committee, have turned on him?

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