During his speech Friday at the National Press Club,????Secretary Duncan again talked passionately about the opportunity for reform and improvement. Content-wise, it was largely his standard speech--the assurances from the ARRA with some additions here and there. Importantly, he again????put the spotlight on the nation's worst schools, talking about the need to address the lowest performing one percent each year.
He said there should be no more tinkering; we need a "dramatic overhaul." He accurately pointed out that these schools have in many cases been failing for years, even decades, and that the students deserve better. ????This was good stuff. ????Kudos to the secretary.
Unfortunately, he also made the following claim, which is misleading at best:
???????I want to ask the country to think very differently about those schools at the bottom...We know what works...What we have????lacked is the political will to do the right thing.???????
The truth is that we do not know how to turn around the nation's worst schools. Good, smart people have been trying for decades, and our success rate is extraordinarily small. He went on to say that there are too few states, districts, and nonprofits trying to turn around these...