As you might have read by now, President Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, plan to encourage school administrators to close and re-open 5,000 of the nation’s worst schools — and hire a new slate of teachers and principals, or convert them into independently run charter schools — with $5 billion in education stimulus funds as an incentive.
If that’s the secret to improving public education, Oakland is really ahead of the curve. I wonder if the district is even eligible for these funds; it’s already closed and re-opened most of its lowest-performing schools and converted some to charters.
Duncan’s plan seems reminiscent of his strategy for Chicago Public Schools, called Renaissance 2010. The Catalyst, an independent magazine that focuses on school reform in Chicago, did an excellent, in-depth series on Duncan’s legacy as CEO of CPS.
What do you think this strategy will mean for public education and for the teaching profession? Is this the way to go about improving teacher quality?