Posts Tagged ‘Blueprint for Reform’

Four signs of the Apocalypse

Friday, May 20th, 2011

1) Chicago, home of Arne “Blueprint for Education Reform” Duncan, is opting out of the top “reform” strategy the Education Secretary promotes. According to Catalyst magazine, the Chicago Public Schools plans no new school turnarounds this year. Instead, the district is planning to use the “school transformation” model, the least disruptive of the four improvement models in Duncan’s plan.

2) One of the schools listed for transformation by CPS is North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School. I thought under-performing charter schools were supposed to be shut down – that’s how they are held accountable, I thought. Hm.

3) Governor Jerry Brown (himself a sign of the apocalypse, right?) has “taken a big step towards reducing the testing mania in the nation’s most populous state” by suspending funding for the student longitudinal data collection system and the associated teacher data base, according to California teacher Anthony Cody, writing in his Education Week blog.

4) The school district’s budget is passed in Albany, NY, despite a massive “vote no” campaign funded by “Brighter Choice Foundation,” which runs all of the area’s charter schools. This article by Parents Across America co-founder Mark Mishler describes the expensive and misleading campaign against the public school budget, which included no new taxes because teachers agreed not to ask for a raise. What a nasty — though happily unsuccessful — attack on public education by a charter company. Aren’t charters always demanding to be acknowledged as public schools? Time to stop pretending, folks.

What does it all mean?

Well, according to my handy dictionary, rapture is “an elevated sense of bliss.” Yep, that sounds about right.

Parent Voices and the Blueprint – new article in District Administrator

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

A compelling new article in the monthly District Administrator details the concerns parents have about the Obama administration’s Blueprint for Reform:

“Parents are the primary stakeholders in education,” says Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE ), which advocates for parents in Chicago Public Schools. “Parents are mostly concerned not with when the PTA meeting is, but what strategies are being used in the school to improve performance, and whether the school is getting the support it needs.”

As written, the Blueprint, which will be considered when Congress takes up reauthorization legislation, doesn’t reflect that reality, Woestehoff says. “There are so many objections to the strategies in the Blueprint that directly impact our children’s opportunities,” she says. “It just seems like nobody up there is listening.”

The article ends with a reference to the positive model of Chicago’s local school councils, and quotes Parents Across America co-founder, Leonie Haimson:

the administration has taken the turnaround strategies practiced in Chicago and New York and is imposing them more vigorously on the rest of the country, creating a need for parent and community counterweight.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.