Daily Archives: June 2, 2009

New US Secretary of Education wants to scale up school ‘turnarounds’

The NY Times reports:

 

Duncan, President Obama’s education secretary, wants to take school turnaround efforts nationwide on a scale never tried before. In speeches and interviews, he said he would press local authorities to close thousands of the country’s worst schools, the dropout factories where only a tiny fraction of students are reading at grade level, and reopen them with new staff members.
Mr. Duncan appears to have the money to drive the effort. Experts estimate the cost of overhauling a failing school at $3 million to $6 million. Mr. Duncan controls $3 billion in the economic stimulus law that could go to school turnarounds, and the administration’s 2010 budget requests $1.5 billion more.
Still, he faces many obstacles, experts said.
“Closing a school is the most difficult task any superintendent or school board can attempt, and not many succeed,” said Terry Mazany, who watched Mr. Duncan’s school makeovers as chief executive at the Chicago Community Trust. “But it’s not impossible, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Duncan, President Obama’s education secretary, wants to take school turnaround efforts nationwide on a scale never tried before. In speeches and interviews, he said he would press local authorities to close thousands of the country’s worst schools, the dropout factories where only a tiny fraction of students are reading at grade level, and reopen them with new staff members.

Mr. Duncan appears to have the money to drive the effort. Experts estimate the cost of overhauling a failing school at $3 million to $6 million. Mr. Duncan controls $3 billion in the economic stimulus law that could go to school turnarounds, and the administration’s 2010 budget requests $1.5 billion more.

Still, he faces many obstacles, experts said.

“Closing a school is the most difficult task any superintendent or school board can attempt, and not many succeed,” said Terry Mazany, who watched Mr. Duncan’s school makeovers as chief executive at the Chicago Community Trust. “But it’s not impossible, and it’s the right thing to do.”

Advertisements

Young primary-grade students who are retained are unlikely to receive special education services, study suggests

From the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine:

Most children retained in K/1 or third grade for academic reasons, including many of those who demonstrated sustained academic difficulties, never received an IEP during elementary school. Further studies are important to elucidate whether retained elementary schoolchildren are being denied their rights to special education services (Silverstein, Guppy, Young & Augustyn, 2009).