Omaha, Nebraska (WiredPRNews.com) — Leaders of urban education gathered at a congressional meeting in Washington to discuss key reforms aimed at helping the troubled school systems to narrow the achievement gap. The panel was comprised of Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City schools and Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of D.C. public school.
Klein and Rhee were appointed by the mayor to improve the quality of the inner city schools and quickly became a point of interest of educators all over the nation. During the congressional meeting, the Chancellors were joined by other city mayors including Adrian Fenty and Michael Bloomberg in addition to leaders from Chicago and Atlanta public school systems.
When the issue of ‘no child left behind’ came up, Arne and Klein Duncan, the CEO of public schools in Chicago ripped on dumbing down the standards of state curriculum.
Klein said that they need national assessments and national standards, and he indicated that the nation requires a uniform way to measure how students have progressed across the nation and desired a plan for the students from emerging and developed economies. Duncan said that every state having its own standards is not a good thing. Miller, who resisted a federal intervention, did not respond to the challenge from Klein.
Rhee proposed a new idea aimed at improving NCLB which has also seen many controversies, tying student outcomes to teachers’ pay. Rhee is the head of the nation’s only schools district which has fallen prey to high risk status by the federal government for the dismal performance given by it. Rhee has been trying to narrow the gap of achievement by disposing of unsuccessful teachers and making use of bonuses encouraging the good teachers to work in challenging schools.
Eventually, Rhee wants to assess the teachers depending upon their test scores in addition to other measures regarding students’ performances. The teachers unions have always resisted using test scores for compensating teachers. Again, lawmakers’ response was a silence.
Wired Education Reporter