Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama's New Education Secretary

President Elect Obama's new choice for Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan,  will hopefully be a breath of fresh air to the education debate in this country.  One person who sent this link to me likened it to Nixon going to China.  I don't know if I would go that far, but Mr. Duncan has been successful with some education reforms in Chicago and seems to be open minded to reforms that include charter school expansion and school choice.  

President Elect Obama has voiced his approval of charter schools and hopefully his Secretary of Education will work at a federal level to see that they can expand and be funded at the same level as their traditional district model counterparts.     

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dropout Rates Alarming

An article in today's St. Louis Post Dispatch sounds a loud alarm about the state of public education in St. Louis and Kansas City.  Data released by the state shows that 22% of St. Louis Public Schools students dropped out last year.  Kansas City reports 28% of their students dropped out.  

This shows the abject failure of these districts to show to the students that the education they are providing is worth staying in school for.  Unfortunately, unlike in a business situation, these students have few other options to move elsewhere so they just drop out altogether.  

Increasing choices for students and their families in both cities is one way to improve dropout rates.    


Monday, December 1, 2008

Michelle Rhee Profile

Add Time Magazine to the long list of national media taking notice of Washington, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.  Chancellor Rhee has been featured in several publications and television stories in the past few months as she tries to drastically reform public schools in our nation's capital.  The video that accompanies this article is very interesting as well.  It is refreshing to see an administrator get a ground level view of the school system and meet with students for feedback.  Also important is the fact that Rhee has the backing of Washington DC's Mayor.  

More people with the will and determination of Michelle Rhee are what is needed to reform America's public education system.  She is giving others like her the encouragement they need to come forward and lead our country's education system back to world prominence.