Quotable Education Quotes: October 6, 2014

October 6th, 2014

** “Arne Duncan brought the most ambitious reform agenda in years to the Department of Education–and a determination to use every lever of power to accomplish it. The results were stunning: In barely a year, more than 100 state laws were passed to open public schools to competition and set tough new standards for students and teachers. Duncan won allies on the right and the left, becoming one of the few Cabinet members with bipartisan support. But the agenda he began to advance in 2009 has now hit serious roadblocks, highlighting the limits of federal power over education. States are balking at reforms they pledged to implement in exchange for grants and waivers from federal law. An unprecedented $5 billion intervention in the nation’s worst schools has yielded incremental results, at best. A noisy opposition to Duncan’s reforms has emerged–and it only grew noisier this month when Duncan dissed ‘white suburban moms’ for opposing the new Common Core academic standards because the tough tests made their kids look bad. To top it off, there’s no clear evidence that Duncan’s prescriptions are boosting student achievement, though his backers say it’s still to early to tell.” ~ Stephanie Simon, Politico

** “The governors and the state [education] chiefs were right about saying let’s figure out a set of standards that are aligned to what kids need to know and be able to do in the global economy. And they moved pretty fast about it … This is what didn’t happen. The public wasn’t involved. Parents weren’t involved. The districts weren’t involved.” ~ Randi Weingarten, AFT president

** “You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.” ~ Randi Weingarten, AFT president

** “Here’s one data point worth remembering. When you measure the test scores of American schools with a child poverty rate less than 20%, our kids not only outperform the Finns, they outperform every nation in the world.” ~ Oliver Thomas, Great Schools Partnership president

** “The point is not that preschools programs are worthless. We need them so parents can work. If we need them, they should perform to their potential. But that might not include significant educational advancement. Providing a warm, nurturing environment may be the proper role, not much more. We simply don’t know. But we should know more before we pour billions more dollars into large, expensive ‘high quality’ universal preschool with grandiose expectations of significant educational gains–money and emphasis that might be better focused on K-12, helping America’s 15-year-olds to compete in the global arena.” ~ Red Jahncke, Townsend Group president

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