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[Susan notes: Joseph Lucido does a good job of tying local grandstanding to Duncan's failed policy in Chicago. We need to keep hitting that failed policy in Chicago. Write about policies in your area and tie them to Duncan's failed policies in Chicago.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published
12/29/2009

To the editor

The editorial praising the "restructuring" of Fremont High School (December 27) is misplaced. The assumption is that the reconstitution of a school somehow makes it better. This is false and no other place shows this more clearly than the Chicago Public School System, which our current Education Secretary Arne Duncan led for nearly a decade. With his "Renaissance 2010" program, his intention was to fix the performance at those schools by closing several and firing the staff. The results of this were disastrous: more students dropped out, less special needs students were served, and the Consortium on Chicago School Research showed that there was no academic benefit to students transferred to these schools. What's more is that Superintendent Cortines chose Fremont just to make an example of his "toughness" when Duncan was coming to town. This was nothing but a publicity stunt, and it will fail just as it did in Chicago.

Joseph Lucido


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