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NCLB Outrages

Obama's Race to the Top competition won't fix public schools

Competition may bring out the best in business and sports, but that logic doesn̢۪t necessarily apply to public schools. The practical way to mend the educational system is by implementing economic and social reforms that focus on the children.


By Walt Gardner

Los Angeles

For taxpayers who are frustrated and angry over the glacial pace of school improvement, it̢۪s easy to understand the appeal of the Obama administration̢۪s Race to the Top initiative. Patience, after all, has its limits. But distribution of $4.5 billion in discretionary funding to schools that qualify will not improve educational quality for all children.

This assessment is based largely on the emphasis given to competition as the centerpiece in creating successful schools. . . .

CONCLUSION: The goal of a healthier education system can be achieved only by the implementation of economic and social reforms aimed at narrowing the differences in the backgrounds of children whom schools serve. Whether we have the will to take the unprecedented steps necessary, however, is entirely another matter.

The Christian Science Monitor does not permit information sharing, so for the rest of the story go to the hot link below.

Walt Gardner taught for 28 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was a lecturer in the UCLA Graduate School of Education.

— Walt Gardner
Christian Science Monitor
2009-12-30
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/1230/Obama-s-Race-to-the-Top-competition-won-t-fix-public-schools


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