A Radical Fix for Schools?-Now on pbs-5 1 09-SDTV XVID
Week of 5.1.09
A Radical Fix for Schools?
Do we need to gut our public schools in order to save them?
How is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan going to spend $100 billion in stimulus money—almost twice the education budget—to fix our nation's schools? During his seven years running Chicago's public schools, Duncan went head to head with the teacher's union and skeptical parents by closing down low-performing schools, getting rid of all the teachers, principals, even the janitors, and reopening them with new staffs as "turnaround schools."
It's a drastic step, but the results have been promising. This week, NOW travels to Chicago to investigate the collateral damage of a top-to-bottom school makeover, and to get a glimpse of what the future of education might look like for the rest of the country.
"We have to be willing to experience a little bit of pain and discomfort, but our children desperately need it and deserve it," Secretary Duncan tells NOW. "Just as we have to do it, unions have to change, principals have to change, teachers have to change, parents have to step up... business as usual is not going to get us there."
Issue Clash: Merit Pay
Two experts go head to head on the divisive issue of merit pay for teachers.
Extended Interview: Arne Duncan
The Secretary of Education did his homework for the job by implementing drastic changes in Chicago. What did he learn?
In Your State: Stimulus Spending on Education
See how your state plans to spend its share of the $100 billion in stimulus funds devoted to education.
Book Excerpt: "Work Hard. Be Nice."
Jay Mathews tells the story of two young men who founded KIPP, a nationwide network of public charter schools.
Related Links and News
Department of Education: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (pdf), chart outlining how the $100 billion in education stimulus money is being allocated.
Edweek: Transparency Elusive as First Stimulus Funds Flow
The Huffington Post: Obama Education Plan Speech: Stricter Standards, Charter Schools, Merit Pay
Inside Higher Ed: Rise in Distance Enrollments
The New York Times: Study Cites Dire Economic Impact of Poor Schools
The New York Times: Large Urban-Suburban Gap Seen in Graduation Rates
U.S. News & World Report: Online Education Offers Access and Affordability
The Wall Street Journal: Education Push Includes Merit Pay
Whitehouse.gov: Obama outlines plans for education reform