Sunday, November 25, 2012

Obama Administration and Republican Right on school "reform", Vouchers, etc.


by Diane Ravitch,
If ever evidence was needed about the bizarre mind meld between the Obama administration and the far-right of the Republican party, here it is.
Secretary Arne Duncan is giving the keynote to Jeb Bush’s Excellence in Education summit in Washington, D.C. on November 28. Another keynote will be delivered to the same gathering of the leaders of the privatization movement by John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, who headed the Obama transition team in 2008. This is sickening.
Jeb Bush’s organization supports vouchers, charters, online virtual charters, and for-profit organizations that run schools. It also supports evaluating teachers by student test scores and eliminating collective bargaining. Jeb Bush believes in grading schools, grading teachers, grading students, closing schools, and letting everyone “escape” from public schools to privately-run establishments. The free market is his ideal of excellence, not public responsibility, not the public school as the anchor of the community, but privatization.
Here is the press release (Podesta’s keynote was announced earlier):


Arne Duncan to Give Keynote at the
2012 National Summit on Education ReformWASHINGTON – The Foundation for Excellence in Education today announced U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will deliver a breakfast keynote address for the fifth annual Excellence in Action National Summit on Education Reform. This keynote will take place at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC, Nov. 28.
Prior to becoming the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan served as the chief executive officer of  Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the longest-serving big-city education superintendent in the country. Among his most significant accomplishments during his tenure as CEO, an all-time high of the district’s elementary school students met or exceeded state reading standards, and their math scores also reached a record high. At high schools, Chicago Public Schools students posted gains on the ACT at three times the rate of national gains and nearly twice that of the state’s. Also, the number of CPS high school students taking Advanced Placement courses tripled, and the number of students passing AP classes more than doubled.
Unfortunately, we have reached maximum capacity for the Summit, and registration is closed. However, you can enjoy this exciting event from the comfort of your own computer. All keynote speeches and general sessions will be streamed live at www.ExcelinEd.org/Everywhere, and all strategy sessions will be filmed and available after the event. Click here to view this year’s agenda.

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