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Obama and Duncan policies created the conditions for the surge in Chicago street gang and gun violence... Trump's privatization attacks on public schools is just a continuation of the policies of Obama, Duncan, and King...

Education activists who were appalled by Donald Trump's reactionary "education agenda" in September 2016 needed their own reality check. In December 2009, a month before his inauguration, Barack Obama announced his choice for U.S. Secretary of Education would be the Chicago schools "Chief Executive Officer" Arne Duncan (above right). Obama's announcement took place at the site of one of Duncan's many attacks on Chicago's real public schools -- the so-called "Dodge Renaissance Academy" which had been handed over the the hucksters at AUSL by Duncan while he ran Chicago's public schools. Photo from Getty Images.We often disagree with Diane Ravitch's self-promoting blog work, but here recent compilation of documentation about how Chicago's violence is partly caused by the Obama administration's education policies is on target. But many fans of Obama are avoiding the fact that Obama's education policies are almost duplicates of Trump's education proposals, and Obama began his administration's attacks on the public schools -- especially the public schools of Chicago -- even before Obama became President of the United States.

Education activists who were appalled by Donald Trump's reactionary "education agenda" in September 2016 needed their own reality check, despite all the claims that only Trump should be fact checked. Take the reminder in the photograph accompanying this article: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Arne Duncan at one of the phony AUSL schools on Chicago's West Side in late 2009 -- a month before Obama was inaugurated and Duncan began his seven year term as U.S. Secretary of Educaton.

In December 2009, a month before his inauguration, Barack Obama announced his choice for U.S. Secretary of Education would be the Chicago schools "Chief Executive Officer" Arne Duncan. Obama's announcement took place at the site of one of Duncan's many attacks on Chicago's real public schools -- the so-called "Dodge Renaissance Academy" which had been handed over the the hucksters at AUSL (the Academy for Urban School Leadership) by Duncan while he ran Chicago's public schools.

Duncan's "Race to The Top" education plan was a direct attack on America's real public schools. For years, many so-called "progressives" ignored the reactionary plans of the Obama administration, while continuing to attack the Bush administration's "No Child Left Behind." As it became more and more clear that Obama was promoting charter schools' expansion, denigrating real public schools, and regularly attacking real public school teachers, the critics tended to silence themselves rather than report factually about Obama and the Trumpian approcahes to education he was implementing during two terms in the White House.

Here is Diane Ravitch's September 10, 2016 notice. Note that Ravitch refers to Duncan as "Schools Superintendent" of Chicago -- ignoring the fact that since 1995 Chicago has had, according to the business model installed by Illinois and Chicago's then mayor, a "Chief Executive Officer." The problems began under Democratic Party leaders, Richard M. Daley, and have simply continued under Rahm Emanuel, who became mayor in April 2011 following a stint as White House "Chief of Staff."

Did Obama Administration’s Policies Contribute to Chicago’s Deadly Violence?, by dianeravitch

For many years, parents and education activists in Chicago have warned that the deliberate destruction of neighborhood public schools was causing a rise in violence. The city, first under Arne Duncan, now under Rahm Emanuel, ignored the critics, and made a virtue of closing public schools, opening charter schools, and sending kids long distances to new schools.

Mayor Emanuel recognized that the critics' complaints had some validity. He didn't stop the school closings — in fact, he closed 50 public schools in a single day [in May 2013], an unprecedented action in American history. But to assuage the critics, he established "safe passages," supposedly to assure students' safety as they adapted to new and longer routes to their new schools. In 2013, a student was raped while walking to school on a "safe passage" route.

Nonetheless, murders and violence in Chicago are at a 20-year high this year.

Arne Duncan expressed his sorrow about the spike in violence, but still sees no connection between his policies as City Superintendent and Secretary of Education and the nasty consequences of destabilizing neighborhoods and communities.

Duncan was first to use school closings as "reform." The first school he closed and restaffed was Dodge Elementary School. He was proud of Dodge, which was his first turnaround. When President Obama announced that he was appointing Duncan as Secretary of Education in 2008, he did the announcement at Dodge. The president said Duncan had the "courage" to close the school and start over. A few years later, Dodge was rated a failing school and closed again. https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/cps-wants-to-close-first-renaissance-schools/16f619df-5820-464d-bbcb-5fc308daf1a0

Opening schools, closing schools, breaking up neighborhoods and communities. Making children walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods and gang territory to get to school. Not a recipe for safety or success.

DUNCAN GETS IN THE ATLANTIC WITH THE FOLLOWING BULLSHIT:

The Myth of the 'Miracle School' by Arne Duncan

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan examines the issues at the heart of the charter-school debate.

ARNE DUNCAN AUG 30, 2016 EDUCATION

In the field of education, success is too often an orphan while failure has many fathers. The stories of the high-performing charter-school networks featured in Richard Whitmire’s important new book, The Founders: Inside the revolution to invent (and reinvent) America’s best charter schools, provide a welcome antidote to the pernicious notion that high-performing schools for disadvantaged students are isolated flukes, dependent on a charismatic educator or the cherry-picking of bright students. Whitmire’s account reveals the secret of the sauce: What is it that schools can do at scale for children to close achievement gaps, even in the face of the real burdens of poverty?

As the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, and later as the U.S. Secretary of Education, I had the good fortune to visit dozens of gap-closing charter schools, including many of the charter-school networks featured in Whitmire’s account. I always came away from those visits—as I do when I visit any great public school—with both a sense of hope and a profound feeling of respect and gratitude for the school's educators and school leaders.

At the same time, it was clear to me on these visits that running a high-performing charter school is anything but simple or for the faint of heart. It takes courage, a caring connection with students, and a tenacious commitment to equity. It takes smarts, and expertise about how children learn. And it takes talent. And for the sector, it takes courage.

I have yet to visit a great school where the school leaders and teachers were content to rest on their laurels. I have never heard a charter-school leader describe his or her school as a “miracle school” or claim to have found the silver bullet for ending educational inequity. The truth is that great charter schools are restless institutions, committed to continuous improvement. They are demanding yet caring institutions. And they are filled with a sense of urgency about the challenges that remain in boosting achievement and preparing students to succeed in life.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the first state law authorizing charter schools—which came about, in no small measure, thanks to the advocacy of Al Shanker, the legendary labor leader of the American Federation of Teachers. Twenty-five years later, it seems fitting to take stock of the successes and failures of the charter-school movement—and to ask what challenges the next 25 years will bring.

It doesn’t matter to me whether the sign on the door of a school has the word “Charter” in it, and it doesn’t matter to children.

In their first quarter-century, charter schools dramatically expanded parental choice and educational options in many cities. What was once a boutique movement of outsiders now includes more than 6,700 charter schools in 43 states, educating nearly 3 million children. But the most impressive accomplishment of the charter-school movement is not its rapid growth. Nevertheless, what stands out for me is that high-performing charter schools have convincingly demonstrated that low-income children can and do achieve at high levels—and can do so at scale.

When I was at CPS in Chicago, people used to warn me that the city could never fix the schools until it ended poverty. For the record, let me stipulate that I am a huge fan of out-of-school anti-poverty programs. CPS dramatically expanded the number of school-based health clinics, free eye-vision services, and dental care. I was virtually raised in an out-of-school anti-poverty program: my mother’s after-school tutoring program on the South Side of Chicago.

Yet I absolutely reject the idea that poverty is destiny in the classroom and the self-defeating belief that schools don't matter much in the face of poverty. Despite challenges at home, despite neighborhood violence, and despite poverty, I know that every child can learn and thrive. It’s the responsibility of schools to teach all children—and to have high expectations for every student, rich and poor. I learned that lesson firsthand in my mother’s after-school tutoring program—and I saw it in action in my visits to many of the gap-closing charter schools featured in this book. High-performing charters are one more proof positive that, as President Obama says, “the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.”

Sadly, much of the current debate in Washington, in education schools, and in the blogosphere about high-performing charter schools is driven by ideology, not by facts on the ground. Far too often, the chief beneficiaries of high-performing charter schools—low-income families and children—are forgotten amid controversies over funding and the hiring of nonunion teachers in charter schools. Too often, the parents and children who are desperately seeking better schools are an afterthought.

Despite the bloodless, abstract quality of much of today’s debates on charters, the ideologically driven controversies won't end anytime soon. Advocates and activists will continue to care about whether a high-performing school is identified as a charter school or a traditional neighborhood school. But it is worth remembering that children do not care about this distinction. Neither do I. Our common enemy is academic failure. Our common goal is academic success.

There is nothing inherently good or bad about a charter or any other school and, as I said in a speech to charter advocates back in 2010, it is absolutely incumbent on the charter sector to be vigilant about policing itself and closing down low performers. The only thing that matters is if a school is a great school. It doesn’t matter to me whether the sign on the door of a school has the word “Charter” in it, and it doesn’t matter to children. Nor does it matter to most parents.



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September 24, 2016 at 4:49 AM

By: Rita Ahmad

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