Leadership, instructional guidance and a willingness to innovate are some of the components of successful school reforms, Gary Ravani, veteran teacher and president of the California Federation of Teachers' Early Childhood/K-12 Council, writes in this blog post. Here, he profiles what works in school reform.
There is growing concern nationwide about the difficulty of adopting massive education reform in a down economy, education journalist and blogger Alexander Russo writes in this analysis. It now appears that the core tenets of the reform movement, including charter schools and evaluating teachers based on students' achievement, have lost steam during the economic recession. Russo writes, "The only outcome that seems unlikely is for reform to emerge from the recession entirely unchanged."
The founder of Green Dot -- a network of charter schools -- has been speaking with Education Secretary Arne Duncan about whether the methods he used to turn around failing schools in California could be applied nationally. Steve Barr says in this interview that his goal always has been "systemic change," and his methods have been successful in graduating more at-risk students and sending them on to higher education.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten praised President Barack Obama's decision to stop accepting students into the Washington, D.C., voucher program and to phase out the program. "If there is an insight here about the way Obama makes decisions, it's that he focuses on the right priorities, setting policies in his budget that improve education for the more than 50 million children who attend our public schools," Weingarten wrote in this solicited comment for The Washington Post.
President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Linda Darling-Hammond to lead his education policy working group, has drawn criticism and fueled a debate over whether Obama supports the country's teachers unions, or those who want to take away their power. The country's two national unions have not publicly endorsed any candidate for Secretary of Education but have offered some guidance for Obama in his selection.