The Bush Administration’s education reforms doubled education spending but not test scores or graduation rates. The Obama Administration’s proposals might make No Child Left Behind look like school choice.
“Because we know that about 12 percent of America’s schools produce 50 percent of America’s dropouts, we’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.
“We’ll not only challenge states to identify high schools with graduation rates below 60 percent, we’re going to invest another $900 million in strategies to get those graduation rates up,” the president explained. “Strategies like transforming schools from top to bottom by bringing in a new principal, and training teachers to use more effective techniques in the classroom.”
“Strategies 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.” The president did not say who would appoint these new managers.
“And strategies like replacing a school’s principal and at least half of its staff,” the president related. “Now, replacing school staff should only be done as a last resort,” he cautioned.
“The public servants who work in America’s schools—whether they’re principals or teachers, or counselors or coaches—work long and hard on behalf of our children and they deserve our gratitude.” Be it noted, NCLB also promised accountability.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.