I stumbled across this article today. It is written by a Detroit attorney, Tom Stephens:
Title: “Until now no one has publicly claimed that a community could be condemned to “no viable future” by poor test results. Shame on you!” —-> US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan labeled Detroit “ground zero” in education reform by video conference.”
“Permit me to explain this harsh judgment. Many studies and competent professional educators have by now concluded that the infamous “No Child Left Behind” Act model of education has failed our children. Indeed, longstanding opponents of these “reforms” have been amply justified by experience in our original assessment of this model: it was designed to punish public school systems and children in low-income communities, predominantly of color, while generating enormous profits for corporate testing and turnaround ventures. You must have gone completely insane. Even advocates of these failed “reforms” (most notably former Bush administration education official Diane Ravitch, in her bestselling book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education”), have evaluated the evidence generated by a decade of such “reform,” and exposed its failure to promote effective education, and its success at enriching and empowering unqualified political operatives like yourself, who are nevertheless pressing ahead amidst wars and recession with a second decade of this failed model.”
The public school where I work was ‘ground zero’ less than a decade ago. We did not have to sell out to this corporate mentality. We simply started focusing on the arts. We also started feeding our children. Not to mention, we switched to uniforms and provided for those who could not afford.
Oh, and we chose to treat the community with respect. I know because it is the community that I live in and it is the school that both my daughters have attended. All of these positive changes at our school worked. We worked our way up from ‘Arne’s ground zero F’ to an A … four years in a row
You wonder why I am so opposed to these edreform policies?
There is a better way than selling our public school kids out to corporate charters.
It is unreal that Arne would tell a whole city of children that they have no future.
My heart hurts for Detroit today.