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View Diary: Education - a comprehensive look at Arne Duncan and Chicago schools (75 comments)

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  •  The diary and comments are a bit overstated (1+ / 0-)
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    I am not going to defend Daley and Duncan, and I am not a fan, but I doubt that Duncan will do much damage.

    The NAEP scores do not point to him doing any damage. The scores were very low before he took over, and they stayed low while he was in charge. The scores don't really mean much, though it is fair to say that he generally did not improve the educational situations of Chicago students.

    There was a major support of education in the stimulus bill, and if those payments become annual, it will represent major progress for schools and students. Generally, I don't think that education reform is a priority for Obama, and I don't expect much good or bad to come from Duncan over the course of four years. It's probably fair to compare him to Spellings, since not much happened during the 2nd Bush term either and Spellings, like Duncan, had no idea how to improve schools.

    President Obama is reality.

    by Reino on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 06:57:49 AM PDT

    •  they do not point to any improvement (12+ / 0-)

      and the damage is other than test scores, Reino.  That includes the clear move towards mayoral control, the undercutting of local control, the militarization - if he pushes that nationally for urban schools, the narrowing of the curriculum, the weakening of teachers unions - all of those represent serious problems for many of us.

      I realize that you are closer to the situation in Chicago than am I.  Let me merely quote you

      though it is fair to say that he generally did not improve the educational situations of Chicago students.

      If he did NOT improve it, why should we be going through the process of spreading the pattern of what was done in Chicago?

      One real concern, applicable from Chicago, is the lack of independent oversight, of checks and balances.  The $5 bill he has from the stimulus funds allows him to push specific programs with no check from the Congress, and once such changes are implemented they are difficult to reverse.

      And the carrot of additional money at a time when school systems are stressed for funds is part of why we have such atrocities as junk food, candy and soda machines in schools, why people like Gates and Broad get to drive the policy direction by dangling large grants.  

      Money for the wrong purposes does not ADVANCE education, even it additional funds may enable some systems to lay off fewer teachers.

      What is lost is the opportunity of making the kinds of major changes that you and I both know are necessary.  

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 07:04:03 AM PDT

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      •  You're Right (4+ / 0-)
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        teacherken, Ms Citizen, miss SPED, ktward

        Major changes need to be made, and they are not going to be made by people who just don't get it. Perhaps the biggest difference between us is that in the area of education I always had low expectations for Obama. I have high expectations in a lot of ways for him, and I'm glad he's our President, but he never had anything to say about K-12 when he was campaigning, so I didn't expect him to be different from Bush on this issue (which both of us invest hours into every day), and Bush was very bad.

        President Obama is reality.

        by Reino on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 07:28:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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