Politicians Are Poody Heads

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Valerie Strauss: Obama’s Disastrous Education Legacy–and Two Failed Secretaries of Education

on October 22, 2016

Obama visited a highly selective magnet school and expressed his wish that every school was as great as Benjamin Banneker.
Somebody needs to clue him in that there are millions of children in this country who are not qualified for schools like Banneker (and would never be admitted there in the first place, or would flunk out if they were), who are English Language Learners, who are special education students with much more than a mild learning disability, there are kids who come to school distracted from learning because they are hungry, or gunfire in their neighborhood terrified them and kept them up half the night, there are kids with social, emotional, and behavior problems.
What does Obama propose doing to help those kids achieve to their individual maximum potentials?
Not all kids are Banneker kids. Not all kids will be going to college.
What, Mr. President, former Secretary Duncan, current Secretary King, are your suggestions and plans for these kids? Fire their teachers and close their schools? Turn all their schools into charter schools with rote learning and poorly-trained teachers?
Or just throw these kids under the bus. Or under a bridge, and let them rot there?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Valerie Strauss writes about a visit by President Obama to a highly selective public school in Washington, D.C. He brought with him his two Education Secretaries, Arne Duncan and John King.

He said he wanted every school to be as great as the school he was visiting, Benjamin Banneker. But there was much he did not mention.

Strauss writes:

“There’s no denying that Banneker is a top-performing school in the nation’s capital, and that 100 percent of its seniors graduate. But it’s unclear if Obama knows that if every school did what Banneker does, the high school graduation rate might plummet. That’s because Banneker is a magnet school where students must apply to get in — but the only entry grades are ninth and tenth. And they must maintain a B- average to stay. Kids who can’t cut it leave, but that attrition isn’t counted against the school’s graduation rate.”

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