Monday, July 26, 2010

Civil Rights Coalition Calls for Changes in Obama Approach to Education

A coalition of the leading Civil Rights organizations released today a 17 page report titled "The Opportunity to Learn Campaign," in which they take to task the approach of the Obama administration to the reauthorization of NCLB. Specifically, the report critiques the "Race to the Top" concept of competitive grants, stop-gap grant-driven innovations that amount to a revolving door of programs of the moment, and systemic reform that relies on charter schools. The Civil Rights groups oppose school closure as a strategy. Instead the report urges reliance on the tried and true, research supported efforts involving early childhood programs, wrap-around services, and targetted resources to communities in need. Valarie Strauss commented on the report in her column today, pointing out that though polite, the report basically "skewers" the programmatic centerpieces of the Obama administration education program. Ed Week has a good piece that points out that the Civil Rights groups seem to have a lot in common with the assumptions behind the Broader Bolder Approach founded in 2008. We may see a rebirth of that effort in the Fall of 2010.

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