July 9, 2008


How the Left Can Avoid a New Education War: A battle is brewing between portions of the civil-rights community and teacher unions over the future of liberal education policy. (Richard D. Kahlenberg, July 9, 2008, American Prospect)

The battle, which can broadly be characterized as one between portions of the civil-rights community and teacher unions, is a movie we've seen before -- most explosively in the New York City teacher strikes of the 1960s -- and it doesn't end well. Sen. Barack Obama should follow the lead of legendary teacher-union leader Albert Shanker and recognize that both sides in the debate need to bend.

The first coalition, led by the self-described "odd couple" of the Rev. Al Sharpton and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein of New York City, casts the debate in civil-rights terms. Calling itself The Education Equality Project, this faction, which also includes Mayor Cory Booker of Newark and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee of Washington, D.C., sees recalcitrant teacher unions as a major impediment to poor- and minority-student achievement, and alleges that unions care more about their own members than they do about students. Sharpton remarked, "If we're going to move forward, we're going to have to be able to have new alliances here -- that might mean some old relationships with teacher unions, principal unions, and all are going to be a little troubled."

As long as blacks vote Democrat in lockstep and their kids don't give as much money as or organize like Labor, the Party is always going to put the union ahead of the children.

Fenty: D.C. Schools Test Scores Up (David A Nakamura, 7/09/08, D.C. Wire)

Could Mayor Adrian Fenty's school takeover be working faster than anyone could have imagined, or did former School Superintendent Clifford Janey's reforms finally take hold--a year after Fenty fired him?

That's the question today after Fenty and schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced that test scores for public school students rose on reading and math across the board on the latest D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System exams. (These are the tests that measure wehther schools have made adequate progress under No Child Left Behind.)

According to preliminary results provided by the administration, 46 percent of elementary school students scored proficient in reading and 40 percent in math, up 8 points and 11 points, respectively, from last year. At the secondary level, the news was just as good. Thirty nine percent scored proficient in reading and 36 percent in math, up 9 points in both categories.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 9, 2008 2:06 PM
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