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What Arne Duncan Wrought

Jan Resseger Alternet
School policy ripped out of time and history: In many ways that is Arne Duncan’s gift to us. School policy focused on disparities in test scores instead of disparities in opportunity; a Department of Education obsessed with data-driven accountability for teachers but preferring “game-changing” innovation for itself and paying inadequate attention to oversight; ...

Restoring Pell Grants for Prisoners: Reversing a 20-Year Ban

Alan Pyke Think Progress
It’s been 20 years since federal Pell Grants were revoked from prisons during the tough-on-crime heyday of the 1990s, amid a bipartisan political fervor that helped transform U.S. prisons from a corrections system to a punishment business. Two decades later, mass incarceration is a runaway train, and America imprisons so many more people than any other country that it’s hard to even compare the thing in one chart.


Teachers Unions Turn Against Democrats

Jonathan Chait New York Magazine
How will the clash over education reform between neoliberal democrats and teachers unions play out in the presidential elections?

Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure for California

Jennifer Medina The New York Times
The decision, which was enthusiastically endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, brings a close to the first chapter of the case, Vergara v. California, in which a group of student plaintiffs backed by a Silicon Valley millionaire argued that state tenure laws had deprived them of a decent education by leaving bad teachers in place.

Seattle School Teachers Boycotted Testing and Sparked A National Movement

Diane Brooks Yes!
Parents, students, and teachers all over the country have joined the revolt to liberate our kids from a test-obsessed education system. As the number of government-mandated tests multiplies, anger is mounting over wasted school hours, “teaching to the test,” a shrinking focus on the arts, demoralized students, and perceptions that teachers are being unjustly blamed for deeply rooted socioeconomic problems.
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