"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dunc Goes After "Status Quos" with $5 Billion for Bribes

From WaPo:
"States that are simply investing in the status quo will put themselves at a tremendous competitive disadvantage for getting those additional funds," Duncan said in a conference call with reporters. "I can't emphasize strongly enough how important it is for states and districts to think very creatively and to think very differently about how they use this first set of money."
And if you have any difficulty in figuring out what kinds of "creatively" and "differently" could get you part of the $5 billion, it means bowing to the same reform orthodoxy of the oligarchs that was driving the Bush policy: teacher pay per score, data surveillance systems, summer school lockdowns in urban areas, and turning public schools into corporate charters. That's the same kind of differently that Dunc has in mind:

Duncan said that, in general, he supports efforts to extend the school day or year for disadvantaged children, new approaches to overhaul the low performing schools and performance pay programs. Duncan challenged educators and policymakers faced with shrinking budgets to "think differently" about school spending.

"Some of this has to do with resources, some of this has to do with thinking innovatively and having the political will and the courage to challenge some of these status quos," Duncan said.. . . .

More change you had better believe in.

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