Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Thursday, 02.22.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9  10  11
 12  13  14  15  16  17  18
 19  20  21  22  23  24  25
 26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Apr 03,2009
Education Secretary no fan of status quo
by The San Diego Union-Tribune

This week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered new evidence that he wants striking changes in public schools — not just a better-funded status quo. Duncan said putting big city mayors in charge of troubled school districts has generally worked well and should be used in far more places.

We think such an a la carte approach makes sense. In too many big cities the diffusion of responsibility for school performance undercuts accountability and gets in the way of fundamental change. Special-interest meddling is also common and explains why the average tenure of a big city school superintendent is three years. Mayors, on the other hand, tend to focus on the key question of whether schools are getting better.

This focus has helped schools rebound in Boston and Chicago and yielded long-overdue reforms in New York. Unsurprisingly, this focus is missing in Los Angeles, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's school takeover was effectively thwarted by the teachers union and the courts.

But opposition to mayoral influence extends far beyond teachers unions. Instead, it's close to the norm in the broader education establishment, which largely opposes charter schools, voucher programs, the tough standards of the federal No Child Left Behind act — anything, really, that discomfits the existing power structure.

Duncan will see this for himself Saturday at the San Diego Convention Center, where he will address the National School Boards Association. Given his recent announcement that he will withhold federal stimulus money from states and school districts that used initial funds to prop up the education status quo instead of to pursue reform, he might be booed off the stage.

Duncan's willingness to tick off this establishment could not be more welcome. In 1983, the school reform movement was born with the release of "A Nation at Risk," a federal report that warned poor public schools were a profound threat to America's future. Among its many recommendations, the report called for spending much more on public education; raising standards; and developing effective ways to track student progress and teacher effectiveness.

Twenty-six years later, inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending has gone up 75 percent. Standards are generally higher. But reform in many other areas has been stymied. Teacher tenure remains entrenched and raises are routinely based on continuing education course work, not performance. The result has been modest, spotty improvements in schools.

Against this backdrop, the education establishment's argument that school quality is a function of spending is absurd. Thankfully, Duncan — and, apparently, President Barack Obama as well — understands money alone is no panacea for all that ails public education.

Reprinted From The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed By Creators Syndicate Inc.

1051 times read

Related news
Obama, Dems wrong to kill school vouchers by Roland_S_Martin posted on Mar 16,2009

No Child Left Behind needs flexibility by UPI posted on Apr 07,2008

How to save Oregon public high schools by Sarah Thompson posted on Apr 13,2007

Calif. budget crisis hits public schools by UPI posted on Mar 03,2008

Rewarding excellence in the classroom by The Milwuakee Journal Sentinel posted on Mar 16,2009

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 20 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?