The Bush Administrationâ€™s education reforms doubled education spending but not test scores or graduation rates. The Obama Administrationâ€™s proposals might make No Child Left Behind look like school choice.
â€śBecause we know that about 12 percent of America’s schools produce 50 percent of America’s dropouts, weâ€™re going to focus on helping states and school districts turn around their 5,000 lowest-performing schools in the next five years, the president said on March 1, 2010 at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.
â€śWeâ€™ll not only challenge states to identify high schools with graduation rates below 60 percent, weâ€™re going to invest another $900 million in strategies to get those graduation rates up,â€ť the president explained.Â â€śStrategies like transforming schools from top to bottom by bringing in a new principal, and training teachers to use more effective techniques in the classroom.â€ť
â€śStrategies like closing a school for a time and reopening it under new management, or even shutting it down entirely and sending its students to a better school.â€ť The president did not say who would appoint these new managers.
â€śAnd strategies like replacing a schoolâ€™s principal and at least half of its staff,â€ť the president related.Â â€śNow, replacing school staff should only be done as a last resort,â€ť he cautioned.
â€śThe public servants who work in Americaâ€™s schoolsâ€”whether theyâ€™re principals or teachers, or counselors or coachesâ€”work long and hard on behalf of our children and they deserve our gratitude.â€ť Â Be it noted, NCLB also promised accountability.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director ofÂ Accuracy in Academia.