America’s lowest achieving students need the support of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. And yet, her voice has been notably silent.
An Atlanta judge last week sentenced eight public school teachers, principals and administrators to jail for conspiring to inflate students’ state test scores. The sentencing was a tragic end to the Atlanta testing scandals that began in 2009.
In order to move on from partisan gridlock on education reform, we must deal with the facts of what works to increase performance for all students. Looking at two new bills coming out of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, that isn’t happening right now.
At the National School Boards Association conference in Boston on Saturday, NSBA President Mary Broderick sent a tersely worded letter to President Obama urging him to work hand in hand with Congress to abandon the current “command-and-control” federal education oversight of the No Child Left Behind Act. Unfortunately, I have no hope that the NCLB/ Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will be reauthorized during the 2012 election year, therefore no change in the law will occur.
Holy Toledo! Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) actually believe the 2011 rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965—reauthorized in 2002 as No Child Left Behind—can be voted on by the Senate by Thanksgiving and the House by Christmas. No way will this become a reality.
The tragic departure of Steve Jobs from his CEO position at Apple last week has prompted me to ask if he would please weigh in on how California should evaluate the effectiveness of their public schools. I think the direction we take today will answer the question of whether public schools can ever produce more thinkers and problem solvers like Mr. Jobs in the future.