Educate All Students, Support Public Education

November 30, 2010

Mega Rich and Public Education

Lessons to Be Learned From Paulo Freire as Education Is Being Taken Over by the Mega Rich

Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed Tuesday 23 November 2010

At a time when memory is being erased and the political relevance of education is dismissed in the language of measurement and quantification, it is all the more important to remember the legacy and work of Paulo Freire. Freire is one of the most important educators of the 20th century and is considered one of the most important theorists of “critical pedagogy” – the educational movement guided by both passion and principle to help students develop a consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, empower the imagination, connect knowledge and truth to power and learn to read both the word and the world as part of a broader struggle for agency, justice and democracy.

His groundbreaking book, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” has sold more than a million copies and is deservedly being commemorated this year – the 40th anniversary of its appearance in English translation – after having exerted its influence over generations of teachers and intellectuals in the Americas and abroad.

Since the 1980s, there have been too few intellectuals on the North American educational scene who have matched Freire’s theoretical rigor, civic courage and sense of moral responsibility. And his example is more important now than ever before: with institutions of public and higher education increasingly under siege by a host of neoliberal and conservative forces, it is imperative for educators to acknowledge Freire’s understanding of the empowering and democratic potential of education. Critical pedagogy currently offers the very best, perhaps the only, chance for young people to develop and assert a sense of their rights and responsibilities to participate in governing, and not simply being governed by prevailing ideological and material forces.

When we survey the current state of education in the United States, we see that most universities are now dominated by instrumentalist and conservative ideologies, hooked on methods, slavishly wedded to accountability measures and run by administrators who often lack a broader vision of education as a force for strengthening civic imagination and expanding democratic public life. One consequence is that a concern with excellence has been removed from matters of equity, while higher education – once conceptualized as a fundamental public good – has been reduced to a private good, now available almost exclusively to those with the financial means.

Universities are increasingly defined through the corporate demand to provide the skills, knowledge and credentials in building a workforce that will enable the United States to compete against blockbuster growth in China and other southeast Asian markets, while maintaining its role as the major global economic and military power. There is little interest in understanding the pedagogical foundation of higher education as a deeply civic and political project that provides the conditions for individual autonomy and takes liberation and the practice of freedom as a collective goal.

Public education fares even worse. Dominated by pedagogies that are utterly instrumental, geared toward memorization, conformity and high-stakes test taking, public schools have become intellectual dead zones and punishment centers as far removed from teaching civic values and expanding the imaginations of students as one can imagine.

The profound disdain for public education is evident not only in Obama’s test-driven, privatized and charter school reform movement, but also in the hostile takeover of public education now taking place among the ultra-rich and hedge fund zombies, who get massive tax breaks from gaining control of charter schools. The public in education has now become the enemy of educational reform. How else can one explain the shameful appointment by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of Cathleen Black, the president of Hearst Magazine, as the next chancellor of the New York City public school system? Not only does she not have any experience in education and is totally unqualified for the job, but her background mimics the worst of elite arrogance and unaccountable power. Surely, one has to take note of the background of someone who should be a model for young people when such a background includes, as reported in The New York Times: “riding horses at a country club where blacks and Jews were not allowed …. lending a $47,000 bracelet to a Manhattan museum … and [refusing] interviews since her appointment.”(1) With friends like Rupert Murduch, it should come as no surprise that she once worked as a chief lobbyist for the newspaper industry in the 1990s “fighting a ban on tobacco advertising,”(2) which is often targeted toward the young. It seems that, when it comes to the elite of business culture, ignorance about education now ranks as a virtue.


Bill Gates New Initiative

Filed under: Corporate Domination,Merit Pay — millerlf @ 8:27 am

After setting back high school reform by a decade with his “small schools”  initiative Bill Gates now wants to dabble with merit pay.

Gates Urges School Budget Overhauls

By SAM DILLON NYTimes November 19, 2010

Bill Gates, the founder and former chairman of Microsoft, has made education-related philanthropy a major focus since stepping down from his day-to-day role in the company in 2008.

His new area of interest: helping solve schools’ money problems. In a speech on Friday, Mr. Gates — who is gaining considerable clout in education circles — plans to urge the 50 state superintendents of education to take difficult steps to restructure the nation’s public education budgets, which have come under severe pressure in the economic downturn.

He suggests they end teacher pay increases based on seniority and on master’s degrees, which he says are unrelated to teachers’ ability to raise student achievement. He also urges an end to efforts to reduce class sizes. Instead, he suggests rewarding the most effective teachers with higher pay for taking on larger classes or teaching in needy schools.


Joe Klein/Rupert Murdoch/Corporate Domination of Education Policy

Filed under: Education Policy — millerlf @ 8:16 am

Murdoch buys education technology company

By Valerie Strauss Washington Post

[Disclosure: Kaplan Inc. is a for-profit education subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., which publishes The Washington Post, my employer.]

This didn’t take long: Joel Klein announces Nov. 9 that at year’s end he will resign as York City’s Schools chancellor to become executive vice president at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Yesterday, the company announced that it was buying a technology company with big financial ties to the New York City school system.

Murdoch’s company, according to a story at, is acquiring 90 percent of Wireless Generation, a privately held Brooklyn-based education technology company, for approximately $360 million in cash. It will become a subsidiary of News Corp.

One of the things Wireless Generation does is build large-scale data systems that centralize student data and is a “key partner to New York City’s Department of Education on its Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) as well as on the City’s School of One initiative,” the story said.

(The ARIS contracts — worth tens of millions of dollars — and the contracts the New York City Education Department has issued for its School of One program were apparently negotiated rather than competitively bid.)

After Klein’s announcement, News Corp. officials told the New York Times that Klein would advise Murdoch on a number of initiatives, including “developing business strategies for the emerging educational marketplace.”

Murdoch, chairman and chief operating officer of News Corp., has taken a keen interest in education reform lately, investing in Teach for America and some charter schools.

I wonder why.

“When it comes to K through 12 education,” Murdoch said in a statement about the Wireless Generation purchase, “we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching.”

No doubt “great teaching” is what motivates Murdoch (whose News Corp. had, as of Sept. 30, 2010, total assets of approximately $56 billion and total annual revenues of approximately $33 billion).

The current wave of education reform based on “data” and “accountability” hasn’t done much to improve public schools, but it sure is helping improve the balance sheets of a lot of for-profit companies.

It is true that some nonprofits don’t operate a whole lot differently than some for-profits. And certainly for-profit businesses can and do bring valuable products and services to public schools. They make money by meeting demand, so, presumably, they fill some perceived need in the system.

But ultimately, the loyalty of for-profit companies is to the bottom line and investors, not necessarily to the general good of public schools and kids. And they get their return on investment with public money.When business people decide to get into the education world in a big way, their support for specific reform measures has to be seen through the prism of money-making opportunities, not what research says works best for kids.

Allowing business people to drive education policy is a very dangerous business. Why the Obama administration thinks this is a good idea is way beyond me.

November 29, 2010

Walker “Open for Business” with Green Out the Door

Filed under: Environment,Scott Walker — millerlf @ 1:44 pm

Businesses expect friendlier DNR under Walker

By Eric Decker , of BizTimes Published November 26, 2010

Business interests are hopeful that Governor-elect Scott Walker will make changes to the state’s environmental policies that will make Wisconsin more business-friendly.

The Walker administration is likely to pursue several changes to Wisconsin’s environmental policies as they relate to manufacturing and business, and it will almost certainly make changes to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), political observers say.

Such changes would reflect Walker’s mantra that Wisconsin is “open for business.”

“The main thing is changing the tone in our regulatory agencies from an adversarial relationship to a partnering relationship,” said Steve Baas, director of governmental affairs with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). “Businesses should not be assumed guilty until proven innocent in regulatory matters.”

The MMAC and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) hope Walker will put a high priority on changing the culture at the DNR because of the regulatory powers that agency has over manufacturing, which is one of the state’s largest employment sectors.

“The DNR must not view environmental protection and economic growth as mutually exclusive goals,” Baas said. “More than any individual piece of legislation, making a change in tone (at the DNR) will set the table for whether the governor-elect is able to deliver on his goal of making Wisconsin open for business.”

The MMAC and the WMC also expect the Walker administration to speed up the DNR’s permit approval process.

“Time certainty is a huge thing, as is responsiveness,” Baas said. “It speaks to our competitiveness. (Currently) our regulators, without explicitly rejecting an application, can kill one by tying it up in red tape so that businesses will say it’s not worth doing business in Wisconsin.”

Scott Manley, environmental policy director with the WMC, agreed and said the Walker administration should focus on making sure Wisconsin’s policies match up with federal standards and those in place in neighboring states.

“If we can align ourselves with neighboring states and the EPA and get some streamlining done without sacrificing environmental quality (that will be a good thing),” Manley said. “Permit streamlining is a great place to start. They should look at air permitting and water permitting.”

The new Walker administration may not need to introduce radical rule changes at the DNR and other state agencies, Manley said. Instead, it could encourage use of existing rules that are not being enforced now.

“(Wisconsin) enacted some comprehensive regulation reform in 2004, and I think many of those reforms haven’t been fully implemented,” Manley said. “Many of the tools that were given to the DNR to streamline (the permit) process haven’t been fully taken advantage of. In many respects, Walker’s administration has the ability to take those tools and make the regulatory process better and more efficient in Wisconsin.”

Walker will be able to appoint a new DNR secretary when he takes office in January. Next year, the new governor also will be able to appoint two new members to the state’s Natural Resources Board, which sets policy for the DNR.

“Even though the majority of the board won’t be his appointees right away, via the secretary position, the governor can set the tone and make significant changes to the board,” Baas said. “The accountability (of the Natural Resources Board and DNR) and the ability to make changes in the way they do business lands in the governor’s lap.”

State Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), who is also the new Assembly Republican leader, said Assembly Republicans also will put a high priority on changing the culture at the DNR.

“We’ve seen the DNR as an adversary of businesses in the state, and that’s something the Walker administration and Republicans in charge would like to see changed,” Fitzgerald said. “(We need to) get a (DNR) secretary that understands jobs and the economy and will do what it takes to get businesses in Wisconsin.”

Fitzgerald predicts that the Walker administration and Republicans in the state Assembly will work on job-creating and state deficit reducing measures, beginning in January. The Assembly may take up issues relating to emissions permitting and other environmental regulations, he said, but there are no specific pieces of legislation he or other Republicans are planning to introduce at this point.

“The first half (of the session) will be devoted to getting people back to work and our state on fiscal track, which will help the overall business environment,” Fitzgerald said.

25 Recent Incidents of Racist Threats Against Black Students at UW-Platteville

Filed under: Racism,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 1:36 pm

UW-Platteville students targets of hate crimes

Racist graffiti on doors of black student leaders brings number of campus area incidents to 25

By Melissa Hanson Sunday, November 28, 2010.

Two University of Wisconsin-Platteville leaders of the Black Student Union found racist graffiti written on their homes late last Monday night, increasing the number of hate-based incidents the school has experienced to 25 this semester.

The UW-Platteville Black Student Union President Brittany Dupree and Vice President Darryl Meek both discovered their off-campus homes had been vandalized with derogatory words.

According to Meek, someone wrote profane racial slurs and direct threats on his own window and the front door to Dupree’s house.

UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields said there have been numerous cases of racist and homophobic graffiti on-campus since last spring.

According to Meek, many of these incidents have involved racist graffiti in dorms and vandalizing of student’s vehicles.

Shields said the incidents that took place Monday night targeted specific individuals and precautions were taken to make sure they were safe.

The students were temporarily moved to different locations, Shields said.

The UW-Platteville Police Department and the Platteville Police Department are investigating the off-campus crimes with the assistance from the FBI.

According to Shields, there have been no leads in either of the cases.

Meek said it is hurtful to have this incident happen, but it is not surprising considering the lack of response the administration has had regarding the other 23 incidents.

Meek said he is disappointed with how the university has handled the numerous cases of hate-based crimes that have occurred on campus.

Meek added he attributes the number of these crimes not just to the few people who have committed them, but to the campus atmosphere that has resulted from people terrorizing minority groups and getting away with it.

“It is the campus climate that allows this to happen,” Meek said.

Shields said there has clearly been a drastic increase in the amount of hate-based crimes within the past year.

The amount of crimes that have been committed on campus does not indicate the overall sentiment of students, Shields said.

“The perpetrators are the exception,” Shields said. “The overwhelming majority of students do not support these acts of racism.”

Shields added it is apparent that incidents like this are happening on other college campuses as well.

According to a statement released by the Chancellor’s Office, the university is offering a reward of $1,000 for any information leading to the arrest of the individuals responsible for the crime.

“We are doing whatever we can to make sure our students are safe,” Shields said.

However, Meek said he did not believe the administration was doing enough to make students feel safe on campus.

Meek said students of color do not feel safe or welcome on campus and the school should be doing more to make sure that they are able to have an education free of fear.

Meek said he would like to see the university doing more to educate students on different ethnicities in order to change the campus climate.

According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, faculty members are planning on holding a rally for minority students on Tuesday afternoon.


NY State Education Commissioner Caves to Bloomberg Pressure: Billionaires Win and Our Kids Lose Again

Filed under: Mayoral Control — millerlf @ 1:28 pm

(Below are comments by Bob Herbert on class warfare.)

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York,  chose Cathleen Black  as Chancellor of NY public schools without any public search — in fact, until minutes before the announcement, even some of his aides did not know that Mr. Klein was leaving or that she was being named to replace her.

The choice was met with skepticism and opposition from City Council members and some parent groups, who argued that the system needed an experienced educator. Because Ms. Black lacks the credentials required by state law, Mr. Bloomberg was required to seek a waiver from the state’s education commissioner, David M. Steiner.

In a deal between Mr. Steiner and the mayor to save Ms. Black’s faltering candidacy, Shael Polakow-Suransky, a career educator, was named chief academic officer to serve as Ms. Black’s No. 2. Mr. Polakow-Suransky was the school system’s deputy chancellor of performance and accountability before his appointment.

Mr. Steiner had expressed skepticism about Ms. Black’s ability to master the intricacies of the nation’s largest school system. Her cause was further undermined in November 2010 when six of the eight members of a panel Dr. Steiner appointed to evaluate Ms. Black’s background voted to deny granting an exemption.

Ms. Black is scheduled to take office on Jan. 1, 2011. She would be the first woman to head the nation’s largest school system, with about 1.1 million children, 80,000 teachers and more than 1,400 schools. She was the first woman to lead the Hearst Corporation’s magazine division and, way back in 1979, the first female publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, New York.

Mr. Bloomberg has argued that Ms. Black is a “superstar manager” whose expertise in cost-cutting and dealing with customers would be a boon to a school system in financial straits. The mayor contended that under the 2002 law that gave him control of the city schools, he should be able to appoint whomever he pleased.

(Read the truth about Bloomberg and his obscene choice for New York City’s public school chancellor.)

Winning the Class War By BOB HERBERT Published: November 26, 2010

A stark example of the potential for real (class) conflict is being played out in New York City, where the multibillionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has selected a glittering example of the American aristocracy to be the city’s schools chancellor. Cathleen Black, chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, has a reputation as a crackerjack corporate executive but absolutely no background in education.

Ms. Black travels in the rarefied environs of the very rich. Her own children went to private boarding schools. She owns a penthouse on Park Avenue and a $4 million home in Southampton. She was able to loan a $47,600 Bulgari bracelet to a museum for an exhibit showing off the baubles of the city’s most successful women.

Ms. Black will be peering across an almost unbridgeable gap between her and the largely poor and working-class parents and students she will be expected to serve. Worse, Mr. Bloomberg, heralding Ms. Black as a “superstar manager,” has made it clear that because of budget shortfalls she will be focused on managing cutbacks to the school system.

So here we have the billionaire and the millionaire telling the poor and the struggling — the little people — that they will just have to make do with less. You can almost feel the bitterness rising.

Extreme inequality is already contributing mightily to political and other forms of polarization in the U.S. And it is a major force undermining the idea that as citizens we should try to face the nation’s problems, economic and otherwise, in a reasonably united fashion. When so many people are tumbling toward the bottom, the tendency is to fight among each other for increasingly scarce resources.

What’s really needed is for working Americans to form alliances and try, in a spirit of good will, to work out equitable solutions to the myriad problems facing so many ordinary individuals and families. Strong leaders are needed to develop such alliances and fight back against the forces that nearly destroyed the economy and have left working Americans in the lurch.

Aristocrats were supposed to be anathema to Americans. Now, while much of the rest of the nation is suffering, they are the only ones who can afford to smile.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on November 27, 2010, on page A19 of the New York edition.

November 22, 2010

Republican Control: What Wisconsin GOP Wins Mean for Milwaukee Schools

Filed under: Elections,MPS Governance Debate,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 8:12 pm

By: Terrence Falk | Monday 11/8/2010

Republicans now control state government. How will they treat Wisconsin’s largest school district?

Don’t expect Mayor Barrett to get control of MPS no matter how many editorials the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel runs supporting the idea. In the last legislative session. Republicans stonewalled the idea. They are not about to change their minds now.

Instead some Republicans have been pushing the idea of breaking MPS into a half dozen or more districts. Their reasoning is that smaller school districts work well in Wisconsin; therefore, a major problem for MPS must be its sheer size. They forget that right behind Milwaukee in struggling school systems is Racine, Kenosha, and little Beloit, much smaller school districts. All have the common denominator: a high percentage of minority schools living in poverty, not district size.

Would creating six superintendents, six school administrations, and six school boards save any money? And saving money is what the GOP really cares about.

Breaking MPS into smaller districts is akin to smashing a hornets’ nest with a baseball bat.  The school system’s problems are going to fly off in all different directions, and a lot of people are going to get stung. No, breaking MPS into smaller districts is not likely to happens.

Might Republicans give more power to the state superintendent? If Milwaukeean rejected mayoral control, how do you think they would react to state control? Former GOP Governor Thompson actually tried to get rid of the state superintendent office. Republicans will be cautious in giving more power to the state superintendent whose election is often dependent upon support from teacher unions.

Walker and the GOP are likely to do three things:

Are you against unfunded mandates? So are the Republicans. But they are not likely to give school districts more money for those mandates. Instead they will cut state regulations saying schools can do “more with less.”  But schools will just do less.

Limiting the number of choice schools in Milwaukee? That is gone. The real question is whether Republicans will keep in place higher standards in place.   Some choice providers were caught falsifying enrollment numbers, buying BMWs, and offering substandard educations. The theory that simply relying on free market competition would weed out substandard schools did not work out very well. Will GOP have the courage to close failing choice schools?

How do you feel about teacher unions? They are likely to be the biggest losers. the GOP may say they care about improving education, but they also care about raw political power. Teacher unions have been a reliable Democratic power base. Cut them off at the knees.

The GOP is likely to make it easier for individual teachers to opt out of joining local teacher unions. Right-to-Work, here we come. If unions have fewer members and less revenue, unions will have less power.

Getting rid of teacher residency in Milwaukee will be portrayed ss a civil rights issue and a method for opening up MPS to a larger pool of potential teachers. But fewer MTEA teachers living in Milwaukee will also dilute their power in city elections.

Placing teachers into the state health insurance system, making it easier to fire poor teachers, and pushing merit pay are all likely to come in second to raw political power.

Could the GOP actually improve Wisconsin education? Their wins free up the left to support reforms they may have not supported otherwise, but it is the GOP who are in the driver’s seat, and they have to make the first moves.

To visit Terrence Falk’s website Yellow Bus go to:


Walker/Republican Deregulation Revolution Has Allies That Look Like This!

Filed under: Elections,Right Wing Agenda — millerlf @ 5:35 pm

Following is a  report from the Jon Stewart show that shows what deregulation means for some Americans.

To see double-click the following:

Teachers give ‘Superman’ director an earful

Filed under: Waiting for Superman — millerlf @ 5:08 pm
By Valerie Strauss
This was written by educator Anthony Cody. After 18 years as a science teacher in inner-city Oakland, he now works with a team of experienced science teacher-coaches who support the many novice teachers in his school district. He is a National Board-certified teacher and an active member of the Teacher Leaders Network. This appeared on his Teachers Magazine blog, Living in Dialogue.
By Anthony Cody
Waiting for Superman director Davis Guggenheim has fulsome praise for teachers, and on Huffington Post this week he has asked for our feedback. He writes:
“Teachers live it everyday so they get it — the good and the bad. And I am moved by all the reactions: the emotion, the criticism, the longing to help the kids in my documentary.”
So far, Guggenheim is the one who has been getting it. And the feedback teachers have posted thus far spans the spectrum from critical to blistering.
It is fascinating to follow this process. I watched (and wrote) when Waiting for Superman was introduced to the public through two Oprah shows, and a $2 million promotional campaign underwritten by the Gates Foundation. I watched (and wrote again) that very special week when NBC news lavished airtime on schools in their Education Nation programming, where Guggenheim and his celluloid heroes Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada were toasted by billionaires for their courage. The voices of teachers occasionally peeped up unbidden, but were largely ignored.
In the realm of corporate-sponsored galas and conferences of grant recipients, I am sure Guggenheim remains the toast of the town. He is finding that teachers have an independent voice, however, and while we may not have much access when NBC runs the show, we are capable of typing in a little box and hitting the submit button.
Here are a few of the comments his post has received:
Amy Valens, who has created her OWN wonderful documentary, August to June, about what a great school looks like, writes:
“What makes those charters better, and which changes are applicable to other schools–public or otherwise? Certainly showing teachers as people who pour knowledge into kids heads doesn’t forward the conversation, nor does fear mongering with out of context statistics. With the opportunity to introduce little-heard voices with positive ideas, instead you relied on the same folks that the Business Roundtable has been trotting out through the media for years.”
Shanee Garner writes:
“We don’t need a documentary about public education without a single public education teacher. I expected a more nuanced view of education you know, where, you look at the factors that cause failing schools such as poverty, inequitable funding, harsh government guidelines, zero tolerance policies. Not some union bashing and teacher scapegoating nonsense.”
Glynis Cooney:
“I am no fan of the teachers’ unions, but in the current climate of anti-teacher and anti-(non charter) public school that you helped fuel, I fear what my job will look like next year without them. Since your film failed to show all the private donations that aided the profiled schools successes, there are reinvigorated claims that we are overfunded and wasting tax-payer funds.”
“This film was a wasted opportunity. How could you make an entire film about the problems in so-called “failing” schools, and never actually visit or interview anyone within them? And how could you rely on the “expert” analysis of people who have never taught or studied education, let alone tried to understand the issues facing struggling schools? Several of your “experts” are ideologues who are deeply invested in undermining public education. That would be like re-making An Inconvenient Truth, leaving out all of the findings of climatologists who have spent their lives studying climate change, and giving over the majority of the film to people who think climate change is a myth.”
“Superman is being used to attack due process in our state and the Republicans will probably make teaching an at-will job. Then, all you will have in inner city classrooms will be long-term subs and incompetents who nobody else will hire. Superman is being used to argue that kids don’t need expensive socio-emotional supports, just more test prep and standardized testing to fire teachers. I’ve had more than forty students who have killed someone or died violently. Superman is being used to show that all we need to overcome urban pathologies is high expectations. Superman is feeding the civil war between progressives….
Traceydouglas writes:

“Given the funding sources for your film, I find it hard to believe your movie is anything but a slick propaganda piece for privatization via charter schools. I would suggest you are being disingenuous to suggest otherwise.”
,,, Out of 52 comments posted [at the time Cody wrote his article], there has been ONE person who has posted a positive comment and guess what? She wants his help to promote a for-profit education business.
Several people have also indicated their comments were filtered out by a moderator.
Thus far, Davis Guggenheim has not responded.
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Duncan Proposal for ESEA Reform: A Blue Print

Filed under: Education Policy,NCLB — millerlf @ 5:03 pm

ESEA Reauthorization: A Blueprint for Reform
en español

More Resources

On March 13, the Obama administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The blueprint challenges the nation to embrace education standards that would put America on a path to global leadership. It provides incentives for states to adopt academic standards that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace, and create accountability systems that measure student growth toward meeting the goal that all children graduate and succeed in college.

Read the blueprint or download it PDF (1.9M). Learn how the blueprint empowers educators: read Built for Teachers. See a slideshow comparing the blueprint to No Child Left Behind download files PowerPoint (64K). Find out what the blueprint proposes for…

  • supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education download files PDF (833K)
  • supporting families and communities download files PDF (912K)
  • supporting teachers download files PDF (851K)
  • college- and career-ready standards and assessments download files PDF (2.24M)
  • a complete education download files PDF (2.10M)
  • diverse learners download files PDF (1.99M)
  • early learning download files PDF (1.17M)
  • public school choice download files PDF (2.04M)
  • rewarding excellence and promoting innovation download files PDF (2.65M)
  • turning around low-performing schools. download files PDF (1.77MB)

See the press release. Watch the President discuss the blueprint. Listen to Secretary Duncan’s conference call MP3 (5.6M) with reporters or read the transcript MS Word (88K). See Secretary Duncan’s March 17 testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.

On May 4, the Obama administration released a series of documents outlining the research that supports the proposals in the blueprint. These research summaries will serve to inform conversations around ESEA reauthorization and the reforms that research shows are necessary. These documents outline the research base around each section of the blueprint, including:

  • College- and Career-Ready Students download files PDF (749K)
    College- and Career-Ready Students, School Turnaround Grants
  • Great Teachers and Great Leaders download files PDF (920K)
    Effective Teachers and Leaders, Teacher and Leader Innovation Fund, Teacher and Leader Pathways
  • Meeting the Needs of English Learners and Other Diverse Learners download files PDF (662K)
    English Learners, Diverse Learners
  • A Complete Education download files PDF (1.17M)
    Literacy, STEM, A Well-Rounded Education, College Pathways and Accelerated Learning
  • Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students download files PDF (891K)
    Promise Neighborhoods, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students
  • Fostering Innovation and Excellence download files PDF (840K)
    Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, Supporting Effective Charter Schools, Promoting Public School Choice
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