Friday, December 11, 2009


We just received this observation from one of our colleagues (not to be named here):

File this under Hmmmmmm

Below, Sec. Duncan is quoted as saying

“Today, I’m calling on state lawmakers to rethink and rewrite the hundreds of pages of state code that limit the ability of school districts to succeed in promoting student learning, especially in our lowest-performing schools. I urge you to do the tough work of addressing the grossly inequitable distribution of resources that now prevails in a number of states and districts. And, I urge you to build the capacity of districts to challenge the status quo and implement far-reaching reforms to dramatically improve education…. Ultimately, when it comes to…state laws, our guiding principles should be straightforward: does a law advance student learning and do what’s right for kids?”

-- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (12/10/09), at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Fall Forum

How can the quote above be reconciled with the lead education story of the week, Dept of Education issues highly restrictive guidance on how schools should use SIG funds to turn around low-performing schools? The four proposed turnaround approached have mixed evidence of effectiveness, at best, and are unfeasible in hundreds or thousands of districts across the country.