Friday, November 22, 2013

Racing to the top?

Arne Duncan, as usual, is sticking to his misfiring guns. But criticism is mounting over his $5 billion in Race To The Top grants showing no real measurable improvement in schools. 

No surprise there, since the whole strategy was flawed from the get-go. The money was used to drive massive school closures in minority communities, the unfettered expansion of privately managed charter schools, standardized testing mania, and the firing of hundreds of thousands of public school teachers. What could go wrong?

Silly us
Trinity Washington University president Patricia McGuire asks, "Can anyone differ with Duncan ‘without being dismissed as silly’?"  -- Washington Post
I have this dream that those of us who have worked in the trenches of institutional reform might actually be asked how we make reform work, how we achieved results that stick. I keep hoping that our leaders will not drive out the good in their quest to create some kind of perfect world according to their own vision — a vision often informed only by other elites like themselves, or major philanthropists, unenlightened by the real lived experience of us lesser lights who are mere practitioners of the educational arts. Silly me.
The color of 'disruption'
Racist underpinnings of Rahm's school closing policies become more obvious every time CPS brass tries to explain them. The latest inanities come from the lips of CAO Tim Cawley (who I predicted will soon be moving on). When considering moving students from overcrowded Lincoln School in upscale Lincoln Park over to "underutilized" Manierre, Cawley suddenly realized that it's "highly disruptive to relocate people from their existing school to another school.” This from Byrd-Bennett's main cheerleader for the disruption of the lives of some 30,000 children from the school closings in the city's black community.

How creepy is this guy?
In September, Rep. Trey Radel voted for Republican legislation that would allow states to make food stamp recipients pee in cups to prove they're not on drugs. In October, police busted the Florida Republican on a charge of cocaine possession.

Mayor 1%
Don's miss Jaisal Noor's interview with Kari Lydersen. She's the Chicago journalist who wrote Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago's 99%. Some interesting stuff on Rahm's underestimation of the CORE caucus within the CTU leading up the the teachers strike.

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