Monday, January 18, 2010

Model for Race to the Top not improving education in Chicago

The Chicago Tribune has done an in-depth look at Renaissance 2010 and what it's done for Chicago public schools. You'll remember that current Education Secretary Arne Duncan was Chicago's CEO prior to taking the federal job, and he's basing Race to the Top on Chicago's Renaissance 2010 model...

...which isn't improving education in Chicago.
Six years after Mayor Richard Daley launched a bold initiative to close down and remake failing schools, Renaissance 2010 has done little to improve the educational performance of the city's school system, according to a Tribune analysis of 2009 state test data.
Scores from the elementary schools created under Renaissance 2010 are nearly identical to the city average, and scores at the remade high schools are below the already abysmal city average, the analysis found.

Why should you care?

The architect of Renaissance 2010, former schools CEO Arne Duncan, is now the U.S. Secretary of Education -- and he's taking the Daley-Duncan model national as part of his Race to the Top reform plan.

Duncan is using an unprecedented $4.35 billion pot of money to lure states into building education systems that replicate key Ren10 strategies. The grant money will go to states that allow charter schools to flourish and to those that experiment with turning around failing schools -- all part of the Chicago reform.

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