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“Why Duncan’s record in Chicago is a problem”

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Why Duncan’s record in Chicago is a problem is a excellent post from Washington Post education reporter/blogger Valerie Strauss.

She comments on a piece by another Post reporter reviewing Education Secretary Duncan’s tenure as head of Chicago schools, which was decidedly mixed.

I’d encourage you to read her entire piece, but here’s an excerpt:

Duncan himself did not call his work as Chicago schools chief an educational miracle, but he never stopped others, including Obama, from making more of it than there really was.

My point? Progress is hard. Progress is uneven. Progress takes different approaches.

No one person has the answer for everybody.

Yet Duncan has decided on specific routes for progress that school districts must take in order to win some of the billions of dollars in federal funds he is dangling–$3.5 billion in grants for systems to turn around weak schools and $4 billion for states to pursue innovation.

This is why so many people are upset at Duncan — especially those who had hoped Obama would change the educational dynamic of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” era, with its emphasis on high-stakes standardized tests and charter schools.

They had hoped Duncan would take the country away from NCLB. Instead, he seems to be ratcheting it up, based on a record in Chicago that is hardly shining.

So here we go again. Most unfortunately.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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