Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eric Nadelstern, the great apologist for everything Joel Klein did for a decade

Sort of like Goering complaining about how Hitler ran the war.
Sour grapes from a guy who said nothing until he was passed over for his proteges.

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...Take New York City, which received approximately $300 million in Race-to-the-Top federal funding. The central office squandered this windfall on two initiatives: trying to mandate top down innovation and imposing the Common Core in all schools. The last place in the school system capable of innovation is the central office, and when 70,000 teachers close their classroom doors each morning to begin the school day, the last thing they're thinking about are central office mandates. These badly needed resources would have been better spent by the schools in support of students and teachers in their classrooms...

http://www.schoolbook.org/2012/10/05/in-race-for-president-no-clear-winner-for-education/

In Race for President, No Clear Winner for Education

Oct. 5, 2012, 9:50 a.m.

By ERIC NADELSTERN

Like most Americans, I've made up my mind on which presidential candidate I plan to vote for. However, I would be hard-pressed to determine which candidate has the better plan for improving public education. I suspect that I'm not alone.

President Obama selected his neighbor and basketball buddy to be Secretary of Education. Arne Duncan was the superintendent of schools in Chicago, where the five-year high school graduation rate stood at 58% in 2011. Other than a teachers' strike at the start of this year, there isn't much education news coming out of the Windy City, where the new schools superintendent began his tenure by mandating recess.

To be fair, as education secretary, Duncan did use the power of the purse to push a charter-friendly federal agenda, and to promote teacher evaluations based on student performance. But the monies used to leverage this support were often not well spent.

Take New York City, which received approximately $300 million in Race-to-the-Top federal funding. The central office squandered this windfall on two initiatives: trying to mandate top down innovation and imposing the Common Core in all schools. The last place in the school system capable of innovation is the central office, and when 70,000 teachers close their classroom doors each morning to begin the school day, the last thing they're thinking about are central office mandates. These badly needed resources would have been better spent by the schools in support of students and teachers in their classrooms.

As we look forward to an increasingly likely second term for Obama, what has the administration learned from its first term educational efforts that will make them more successful in raising student achievement in a second term? I can't think of anything they have said or done to address this question. Is the U.S. Department of Education a functional learning organization, or like most educational bureaucracies, will it once again demonstrate that those who work at educational agencies are incapable of learning from experience?

On the other hand, the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney began with the most promising suggestion to close the achievement gap I've heard in years. He wants every student below grade level or with special needs to be able to select to attend any public school in their home state. What a great idea! The only problem in implementing it is that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled against forced inter-district busing. Another problem is that Romney never followed up with anything as compelling with which to reform a public education system that is not getting the job done; namely, educating all of our young people to high school completion and beyond.

My late father had one standard he used to judge political candidates. Will he be good for Israel? Like him I care about the Jewish state and Middle East peace, but that would not be the sole criterion I would choose for supporting a candidate. Were I to base my vote on only one issue, it would have to be who would most like improve education in our country. On the basis of that standard, I would probably stay home on Election Day.

Eric Nadelstern is a professor at Teachers College. Prior to that, he was a deputy chancellor in the Department of Education

Cheers,
Norm Scott

Twitter: normscott1

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3 comments:

  1. There is a must read article of a principal who was yanked from his school, charged with 6 violations stemming from corporeal punishment misappropriation of funds, nepotism, and harassing a teacher who now is recovering from PTSD. Here are the links.
    http://www.qgazette.com/news/2...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Norm:

    I couldn't agree with you more about the phony but just like a stopped clock is right twice a day, Mr Nudelstein is correct about wasting money that never reacher the classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  3. To Anonymous 10/7/12, 8:06:00 AM:

    Is this the article you're talking about?

    www.qgazette.com/news/2012-10-03/Features/Principal_Has_The_Final_Word.html

    The link was truncated in your post.

    ReplyDelete

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