Monday, April 25, 2011

Education Reform: we have to get better faster than we ever have in education

  • Solving the Education Crisis in America: Let's Pretend (Fred Newman PhD and Lenora Fulani PhD, East Side Institute) As referenced earlier, the more privileged of America’s youth, even by a very early age, have had a host of developmental cultural experiences, which leave them to varying degrees and in varying ways, open to learning. Our lower performing children have not, and moreover, have grown up within cultures which often relate negatively or conflictedly to learning. These children must be helped to grow (develop) if they are ever to begin the learning process and to function in the same classroom environment as the more developed children. The remedy cannot be “education” pure and simple. A system which presumes that classroom learning can substitute for, or override, a lack of development has failed to deliver. Does this have racial connotations? Of course. There is nothing in American life and culture that doesn’t. And a significant proportion of kids failing in the classroom are in inner-city areas and are Black and Latino. But that does not mean it cannot be remedied. However, the remedy cannot be remediation. It must be development.
  • Illinois Bill Exemplifies Groundbreaking Education Reform - State Shows How Collaboration Can Lead to Change (By Cynthia G. Brown, Theodora Chang, Center for American Progress) The bill, S.B. 7, ties tenure and dismissal to performance in the classroom, rather than experience, and makes it more difficult for teachers to strike.
  • Education Secretary Duncan: U.S. schools need to get 'better faster' (Princeton University) "If you look at (education) as a civil rights issue, as an economic imperative, as an issue of national security -- I look at it through all three of those lenses -- we have to get better faster than we ever have in education," Duncan said during a speech Wednesday, April 20, in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall. "Somehow, we have a 19th-century model for a 21st-century economy."
  • Gov. Deval Patrick Opens Up About Educating Kids of Color for The Root (by Jamilah King, ColorLines News for Action) Patrick: "Yet for all the five years we’ve had these extraordinary achievement results, we have had at the same time a persistent achievement gap. Stuck in that gap are poor kids and kids who have special needs or speak English as a second language. A disproportionate number are kids of color. It’s an economic and educational issue to have an achievement gap at all, but to let it go for the years and years, decades or more that we had here [in Massachusetts], that’s a moral question. Now we have some tools to reach that part of our family as well."
  • Newark's Underperforming Schools Almost Have A New Leader (Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post) "With that investment, if things don't work out in Newark, ... it would have a chilling impact on other philanthropists and on those rising-star politicians who may want to latch onto the education issue," said Kevin Chavous, a former Washington, DC city councilman and current national chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Zuckerberg's donation, however, represents only one tenth of the budget of a system that White Bradley says has a "base level of distress." And working with that high-profile money will put Newark's new superintendent under closer scrutiny.

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