AM News: Daley Blasts Obama Education Agenda


"Mayor Richard Daley today called for an end to a high-profile federal education program that was the brainchild of the Obama administration and his own former Chicago Public Schools chief.

The mayor also said Chicago school officials should have been more involved with Illinois' failed bid to qualify for the money in the Race to the Top program.

"We should end it. We should end it," Daley said of the program, in which states vie for funding by promising various reforms. "They are just political slogans." (here)  What do you think?  Has the old man finally lost his marbles, or is he finally free to speak the truth?


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  • When I first read this report I was sort of baffled. Then I understood. Mayor Daley believes Race to the Top reflects to policy initiatives that he promoted while controlling CPS, i.e. charter schools, turn arounds, etc. Most other Illinois School districts with NCLB failing schools have not opted to utilize the provisions of No Child Left Behind to aggressively carry out these actions. Hence if CPS had a bigger role in the bid it would have more likely succeeded given its commitment to these types of policies from the Mayor's perspective.

    Since I do not much like Race to the Top I am not unhappy that Illinois failed to get the grant. In the long run it would cost Illinois more money for the reforms, money the state clearly does not have. The chair person of the ISBE, Jesse Ruiz who played a big role in the bid is in no way as an effective a presenter as is Ron Huberman. Clearly from that perspective the Mayor is correct. But I am still glad Illinois did not win the bid. When you live in a bankrupt state you really should not be dreaming about ever greater and more costly initiatives for school districts, the central objective should be to keep the doors open and teachers in front of the students.

    Rod Estvan

  • It is ironic that he would be complaining about the idea that he developed. Love the mayor or hate the mayor, he revolutionized the way we look at schools. Arne and Barack are just doing what he taught them to do.
    But I do agree with him on one point. Throughout ARRA and RTTT, the Feds have given unbelievable power to state departments of education. And most state ed depatments are silly political bureaucracies with no practical experience, no insight to education, no great talented people and they are understaffed. They are not equipped to have this kind of power. The feds should be working with the school systems that run these schools, not the state boards of educaton

  • Are you really surprised, CEO Ron Huberman purged most of Arne Duncan's people from CPS (i.e. David Pickens). Pay back is a b_tch!

  • one in three kids kicked out at proviso east -- can you really kick someone out for tardies? that's what the supe says -- seems harsh no matter how many times it happens

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I used to work a Proviso at it was worse than some of the schools I taught in that had similar populations. Students would wall off the hallways and only allow others students passage if they wore the correct colors. Some of these problems went away when cameras were installed, but not all the violence. East is literally a zoo inside a brick building. I heard that report on NPR and the journalist failed to interview any teacher there. People in the media need to understand that some teenangers show up to school with an objective that is far removed from education. Rather than focus on the criminal that is disrupting the classroom, they should focus on the students who are having their education stolen buy these ruffians who have no interest in learning.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Hey Alex,

    Is that an old photo or did Little D and Humpin Hubey kiss and make up?

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