Today, a group of seven education and civil rights groups released a six-point plan for equitable and sustainable national education reform in this country. And, big surprise, the report is basically a 17-page repudiation of the Obama administration’s education reform platform.
Groups including the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Schott Foundation for Public Education called for an end to many of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s signature initiatives, and a commitment instead to policies that incentivize positive results and lay the groundwork for long-term change in the neediest school districts. On every major Duncan policy initiative–aggressive promotion of charter schools, turnaround models for failing schools, national education standards, punitive teacher accountability measures–the coalition had harsh criticisms. And this morning, the Education Department issued a pat response:
We’re listening. The administration is dedicated to equity in education and we’ve been working very closely with the civil rights community to develop the most effective policies to close the achievement gap, turn around low performing schools, and put a good teacher in every classroom.
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