Why Take One Side When You Can Take Both?


Arne Duncan of Chicago has gotten attention for being the man who signed both the one manifesto and the other — and therefore, maybe, being a smart choice for Ed Secretary in an Obama administration. But there are now some other brave signers-of-both-manifestos! The updated signatories page for the Broader, Bolder Agenda shows that other big names getting their feet wet in both pools are — drumroll — Paul Vallas and Geoffrey Canada. Maybe one of them will provide some consensus on accountability.


~ Guest blogger Elizabeth Green


5 Replies to “Why Take One Side When You Can Take Both?”

  1. I am posting this again.

    Were I asked, I would feel perfectly fine signing both the EEP or the BBA, which renders the debate a little silly. However, I think its worth noting that when debating an aspect of public policy, its best to have proposals in that area of public policy. Both the BBA and the EEP aspire to improve education policy in America. However, the EEP actually addresses education policy, while the BBA, though if instituted would certainly make our youths smarter, doesn’t address education policy. Imagine if, during the debate about the recent bailout, a group was formed to argue for healthcare reform. The credit crisis is bad for the economy, and healthcare reform would be good for the economy, they could argue. Still, that does not make healthcare reform the pertinent public policy solution to that particular debate. Likewise, Broader, Bolder is chalk full of good ideas, just not necessarily a lot of good ideas to improve the American educational system.

  2. Teacher Ken, featured last week, plays both sides. By day he teaches at an elite public school that requires passing a test just to GET IN (the poor kids who can’t get in go to schools in PG County with far fewer resources). By night, he rails against student testing.

    What does Teacher Ken have to say for himself?


    Last week, fact checker said:

    The main program at Eleanor Roosevelt, where TeacherKen teaches, DOES require passing a test. There is another program (which serves fewer students and is hard to get into – note that the 400 students listed as being in the latter program span grades 7-12, while the former program admits 222-250 PER YEAR) where admission criteria are sketchier. Is TeacherKen a hypocrite? We’ll all have to make our own decisions about that. Has he spoken out against the policy ever? Not to our knowledge.

    But basically, it seems TeacherKen is against having ALL children meet the same kind of standards required for the select group of students at the high school where he chose to teach. Now what does that tell you?

    Here is the information from wikipedia:

    The Science and Technology Center
    The Science and Technology Center is a highly challenging four-year curriculum which provides college level academic experiences in science, math, and technology. The program is offered at three centers – Eleanor Roosevelt High School in northern Prince George’s County, Oxon Hill High School in southern Prince George’s County, and Charles Herbert Flowers High School in central Prince George’s County. Students attend the center that serves their legal residence. Transportation is provided for all students. Admission into the Science & Tech program is contingent upon three criterion, with all criterion weighed equally. The criterion are:
    Grades from four quarters of 7th grade and the first quarter of 8th grade (or four quarters of 8th grade and first quarter of 9th grade) in math, science, English, and social studies
    A standardized verbal test
    A standardized numerical test
    All of these are factored into a final score. Each test is normally 30 minutes in length and has approximately 40 questions. The math test covers arithmetic, basic middle school math skills, and simple algebra. The verbal test consists of analogies. 225-250 students with the top scores are admitted to Roosevelt’s Science and Technology Program. The next 60 students are placed on a waiting list. All interested 8th and 9th grade students who are residents of Prince George’s County are eligible to apply for admission to the Science and Technology Program.
    [edit]The QUEST Program/AOIT
    Quality Education in Science and Technology (QUEST) and the Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) program began in 1991 with a target population of 50 sixth-grade African American males. The program currently serves more than 400 students in grades 7-12. Admission to the QUEST/AOIT Program is highly competitive. More than 250 students apply for 64 seats. Ninth grade students must complete a rigorous two-week summer program to be admitted into the program. A major objective of the program is to provide under-represented groups who have not gained admission into the Science and Technology Center at Eleanor Roosevelt an opportunity to be successful in a rigorous math and science curriculum.

  3. Differences in the McCain and Obama families:

    1. McCain graduated 894th in an 899 member class at the Naval Academy.
    Obama graduated with high honors in his Harvard Law class.

    2. McCain married Cindy about one month after he broke up his first family.
    Obama, married once, close family.

    3. Cindy McCain, daughter of a rich beer distributor, has confessed an
    addiction to drugs and to stealing drugs.

    4. Michelle Obama, Barack’s wife, from a poor family, has degrees from
    Princeton and Harvard Law School.

  4. someone just sent me this link. I had posted on the original that you are quoting in realtime.

    Several points

    1. my screen name is teacherken – note one word and no capitals. That you cannot get that right is illustrative of the problems with the data you cite, starting with Wiki (upon which no serious scholar depends)

    2. You cite two programs, which together represent just over 1/3 of our students. The vast majority of the rest attend because they live in our geographic area. I am posting this in August of 2010. Last year I taught 182 students in 6 classes. 3 were classes of students takings AP US Government and politics. 9 of those were seniors, who live in Greenbelt and attend because it is their geographic high school. The rest were sophomores. Many were in Science and tech, but a percentage of those would have attended ERHS anyhow, because it is their geographic high school. No where do you indicate that. Similar, some of the students in the Quest program also live within our attendance area.

    My other three classes were regular governent classes. All of the students in them attend ERHS because it is their geographic high school.

    If you want to attack my ideas, feel free. But you might try to get your facts correct, which you did not. I have many times pointed out the mix of students we have, and that I teach. You purport to represent that we are an elite high school – no more so than many high schools which are in part consisting of programs requiring competitive admission, WHERE SOME OF THOSE ADMITTED TO THOSE PROGRAMS WOULD HAVE ATTENDED THAT SCHOOL ANYHOW.

  5. I Fought The Law and the Law Won
    Connecticut Style
    Update: Vallas out because he lacked the qualifications necessary to be superintendent

    Despite the best efforts of Governor Malloy, Commissioner Pryor, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Moales and Paul Vallas himself, the issue they simply couldn’t overcome was the fact that under Connecticut law (even after it was changed to try and accommodate Vallas), Vallas was unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to meet Connecticut law.

    Perhaps the most telling moment came when Paul Vallas whined that asking him to be certified to serve as superintendent of schools was like asking Michael Jordan to become certified to coach basketball. What Vallas refused to understand was that if Michael Jordan wanted to coach basketball at a Connecticut public school he would have needed to become certified for the job.

    ConnCAN, the charter school advocacy group is calling the violation of Connecticut law nothing more than a technicality

    They, along with Malloy, Pryor and Vallas seem unwilling to accept the notion that we are a nation of laws.


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