May 15, 2009

Obama Wants to Close 5,000 Failing Schools

I am pleased to see that the Obama Administration is taking steps to change the dynamics of the American educational system. He wants to see 5,000 failing schools close and reopen with new principals and teachers over the next five years. The plan for failing schools is part of an effort to fundamentally change perceptions about what works in education.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says kids have only one shot at a good education and chronically underperforming schools need a new start.

Obama doesn't have authority to close schools himself. That power rests with local school districts and states. But the president will have unprecedented money to offer schools from a federal school-turnaround fund. And states have an incentive to act in the federal economic stimulus law, because they must help failing schools improve to be eligible for the dollars.

The administration's goal is for the lowest-performing 1,000 schools — about 1 percent of schools nationwide — to close and reopen each year for the next five years.

Combined with the budget plan released last week, Obama could have as much as $5 billion to facilitate school turnarounds, which could translate to $1 million for every school that is closed and reopened.

I hope that Obama is able to keep the spotlight on his challenge to Americans. We need to significantly increase our efforts in public schools if we plan to maintain our position of global superiority in the future.

What say u?

11 comments:

teamowens313 said...

Hey Villager.

Detroit is Ground Zero in this effort - the Education secretary's own words - which to me says that it's beyond time to start anew. This isn't a time for tinkering. Radical reform is required, and that most certainly means setting fire to whatever doesn't work. Will that tick some folks off? Sure. Too bad. We don't have the time to soothe egos and misguided attitudes. It's time to move.

Villager said...

Keith - I should know this ... but, I don't. Are the Detroit Public Schools still run by local control? Or were they taken over by the state government?

kennyx6 said...

Education Secretary Duncan is trying to fix an educational system that needed our attention for so very long. Its a very bold attempt. However, I really hope and pray that he is successful. Students need all of the help they can get!

Villager said...

Kenny - I have 3 children in public schools (2 in Ohio, 1 in Detroit). I am convinced that we (parents) have to step up our game as well. Obama challenged all of us earlier this year. Will we answer his call?

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there!

Those kids are just sooo cute...that little girl is really cheezin'!!

*smiles*

Keith said...

Hey Villager.

We still have the school board, so it's not like the last complete takeover by the State. However our control has still been pretty much ceded to Robert Bobb who was appointed by the governor to take over financial management of the schools. The brother's making some extremely tough decisions - for example he just fired nearly 30 principals and reassigned about 30 more - but he wasn't left with much choice. DPS was going right back down the toilet.

Villager said...

Keith - Detroit and other big-city public school systems are blessed that the current president and Education secretary have big-city mindsets. Hopefully, we can get some radical change that will improve the education of our young people...

Max Reddick said...

Speaking from the position of an educator,, not only must we transform the schools, but we must also make an effort to transform the culture that the children in most of thse failing schools are coming from. The school is but one piece of the puzzle.

Villager said...

Max - I am curious. What is the single action that you wish parents would take when it comes to improving the chance for educational success of their children?

Max Reddick said...

The single greatest action I believe parents should take is making education a number one priority in their children's lives and then setting an example for their children by seeking to improved their lives and the quality of their lives by learning themselves.

Villager said...

Max - A M E N !!!!