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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:21 AM
Original message
Obama's Education Reform Push is Bad Education Policy
Published on Sunday, March 14, 2010 by The Los Angeles Times

Obama's Education Reform Push is Bad Education Policy

One simple solution for our schools? A captivating promise, but a false one.

by Diane Ravitch


There have been two features that regularly mark the history of U.S. public schools. Over the last century, our education system has been regularly captivated by a Big Idea -- a savant or an organization that promised a simple solution to the problems of our schools. The second is that there are no simple solutions, no miracle cures to those problems.

Education is a slow, arduous process that requires the work of willing students, dedicated teachers and supportive families, as well as a coherent curriculum.

As an education historian, I have often warned against the seductive lure of grand ideas to reform education. Our national infatuation with education fads and reforms distracts us from the steady work that must be done.

Our era is no different. We now face a wave of education reforms based on the belief that school choice, test-driven accountability and the resulting competition will dramatically improve student achievement.

Once again, I find myself sounding the alarm that the latest vision of education reform is deeply flawed. But this time my warning carries a personal rebuke. For much of the last two decades, I was among those who jumped aboard the choice and accountability bandwagon. Choice and accountability, I believed, would offer a chance for poor children to escape failing schools. Testing and accountability, I thought, would cast sunshine on low-performing schools and lead to improvement. It all seemed to make sense, even if there was little empirical evidence, just promise and hope.

Today there is empirical evidence, and it shows clearly that choice, competition and accountability as education reform levers are not working. But with confidence bordering on recklessness, the Obama administration is plunging ahead, pushing an aggressive program of school reform -- codified in its signature Race to the Top program -- that relies on the power of incentives and competition. This approach may well make schools worse, not better.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/14
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. We need to be honest
Obama's "plan" amounts to little more than a means to accomplishing the GOP wet dream of a completely privatized eduction system.

We also need to wake up and recognize our Democratic President is showing himself to being more aligned with the Republicans than Democrats in many ways.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. +1000..but watch out this thread will drop because there are so many bash Dennis Kucinich threads
going rapidly and rancedly..all over DU..the paid folks must have gotten a bonus to post as many anti DK threads as possible it seems!
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Their real target is not Kucinich but progressives
Remember Jesus dictum about serving two masters? Corporations or the workers?
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R!! for teachers and students!
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SoxFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. Quoting Bush Administration officials to trash Obama
Nice.

Maybe you can tell us how Karl Rove feels about ethics in government.

:sarcasm:
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mr715 Donating Member (770 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Kucinich would be proud.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Obama is trying to break the teachers' unions. How about hearing a teacher out?
Could it be possible that Obama is the Democratic version of Reagan, and that he is now trying to break the teachers' unions. Central Falls was the first step!

Central Falls Teachers Fired! - Teacher Joann Boss Speaks Out

Central Falls RI teacher,Joann Boss speaks out about the firing of the whole staff at CF HIgh School. FIlmed by Paul Hubbard on 3-4-10 at Brown University

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0SRg4BH66g
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Obama is the Democratic version of Reagan
Im starting to think so.

His ideals seem more attuned to being a Republican than a Democrat.
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ncteechur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. That is utter bullshit. Give one example of when Obama has done anything to destroy the teacher
unions.

And don't mention Rhode Island because President Obama didn't fire anyone. The superintendent did. Yes, the president did applaud the action but the teachers there were given a chance to negotiate not being fired and THEY refused. They relied on the safety of the union to protect the bad teachers. That is flatly wrong. Why didn't the good teachers administrators go against the union and agree to do what was best for the students by providing the reasonable remedies the superintendent requested? Obama has not broken any unions and I don't believe that is his goal. And to say otherwise is simple horseshit. Where are the examples of the unions taking action to rid the profession of those members that are inadequate.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
6.  Diane Ravitch who was Asst. Sec. of Ed under Lamar Alexander during Bush Sr's administration?
Re-published in Common Dreams. Strange bedfellows...
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Actually, it sounds like she's repudiating the Bush position, too
Edited on Sun Mar-14-10 10:53 AM by depakid
Strange bedfellows indeed.
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ncteechur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. It seems that Dr. Ravitch is full of criticism and empty on solutions.
For her article doesn't outline a single idea to change failing schools. Perhaps her books do?
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-14-10 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kick for the truth.
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4_TN_TITANS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. NOW this witch comes to her senses...
She had no problem cheerleading for NCLB and licking boots when Bush was in office.
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