Newstips on Education Reform

These three articles are on the current Newstips blog by Curtis Black:

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Jun 14, 2010

New leadership for Chicago teachers

As new and old reports at Catalyst and Gapers Block indicate, CORE’s victory in Friday’s teachers union election reflected the group’s activist orientation and commitment to grassroots organizing, in schools and with communities.

“We energized the grassroots,” said one CORE member.

CORE came on the scene two years ago and immediately provided a citywide organizational structure for a movement against Renaissance 2010 that had yet to gain much traction. (Click on the article title for complete story)

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Jun 14, 2010

Neil Steinberg and Karen Lewis

Sun Times columnist Neil Steinberg engages in shoddy journalism in his attack on CTU president-elect Karen Lewis in today’s paper.

He takes a partial quotation from her Saturday remarks – “The only people who can improve our public schools are professional educators” – and makes up a classroom discussion in which a made-up student named Leonard calls her comment “kinda arrogant.”  Because it “negate[s] the crucial role of parents” and of students.

I didn’t see Steinberg at King High School on Saturday, and I seriously doubt whether he’s actually read Lewis’s comments.  Because his whole point hinges on ignoring what she actually said. To read more, click here or on the article title.

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Jun 14, 2010

Good schools for all kids: Yes we can?

It can happen here.  Indeed, it has happened here.

After federal spending on education and anti-poverty efforts ramped up in the 1960s, there came a point where urban schools were spending as much per pupil as suburban schools.  Racial disparities in achievement rates were cut in half, and were on track to disappear.   For a brief and unique moment in the mid-70s, black and Latino kids were attending college at rates comparable to whites.

Then came Reagan, who cut the education budget in half, and “conservatives introduced a new theory of reform focused on outcomes rather than inputs.”  That’s the theory behind what passes for school reform today,

This is from Linda Darling-Hammond’s contribution to the Nation’s special issue on A New Vision for School Reform.  She contrasts the United States with nations across Europe and Asia that she says are succeeding in providing high quality education to all their students. To read more, click here or on the title of the article.

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