Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made two significant appearances this week: one on PBS NewsHour -which has recently updated its format to include more internet-based features, like this conversation between Duncan and correspondent Hari Sreenivasan about the Department’s financial literacy initiative and, of course, Race to the Top- the other a town hall meeting on “elevating the teaching profession” Duncan held with teachers from the D.C. area. The webcast is long, but full of honest and thoughtful comments from teachers on the need for better certification programs, the need for scholarships and grants related to ESL students, and more.
The L.A. Times published an op-ed piece this week by Ben Miller, director of a Los Angeles non-profit that works to empower parents in the reform of public schools. Without participation from parents, Miller argues, how does California expect to attract Race to the Top dollars–which the financially unstable state desperately needs? In an even more incensed op-ed, Diane Ravitch, writes in her blog on the Ed Week website that New York’s efforts to prepare for Race to the Top–which she calls “the express train to privatization”–have come at public school students’ expense.
Finally, in higher education news, the Washington Post has a good piece on the civil rights investigation around gender distribution in American colleges. Women apply to and attend colleges and universities in greater numbers than do men; do admissions offices have the right to discriminate based on sex, if they want to keep things 50-50?
Secretary Duncan: Finish Line Nears for ‘Race to the Top’ [PBS NewsHour, The Rundown News Blog, 12/15/09]
Elevating the Teaching Profession: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan [Ed.gov, Education News Parents Can Use, 12/15/09]
Put power over California’s schools in hands of parents [LA Times, 12/16/09]
The Race to Nowhere [Bridging Differences, Ed Week, 12/15/09]
Sex bias probe in colleges’ selections [Washington Post, 12/14/09]