In light of today’s event by the President and Secretary Powell and his wife Alma, it’s important to remember that while there are some schools that disproportionally drive the high school dropout problem, the so-called “dropout factories,” dropouts are a problem in all kinds of schools…In other words, resist the temptation to view dropouts only through the turnaround prism.  

Larger point, in relation to ESEA reauthorization, is that school reform is not only an urban issue and it’s risky to view it that way.

Update:  Michele McNeil…so jaded!

One Reply to “Turnaround?”

  1. Words from , the Chicago high school student Obama gave a shout-out to last September:
    Good morning everyone, I would like to take the time to thank Jonathan Jackson and Rainbow PUSH for inviting me and actually allowing me to speak.

    As some of you might know, on Wednesday [February 24, 2010], the Chicago Board of Education invited us to be honored and then decided that Kellina Mojica and I were too dangerous to be allowed to speak to the people of Chicago. Because on that the day they had already planned to vote to close 8 schools and they knew we would tell the truth about this terrible process. In a way, they are right — truth is dangerous to people doing wrong. Kellina and I were at the board to be recognized for our work to promote a democratic society so it was especially ironic to be silenced. So I would like to share some excerpts from that speech.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated that “True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice”. I have lived this meaning over my four years at Julian High school. I have worked with different social justice groups like Jaguars for Justice and Chicago Youth Initiating Change to promote strong student voices in our community and education in general. I have advocated for peer-to-peer mentoring and teacher-student mentoring as an alternative to punitive interventions for so-called “at-risk” students. Most of all I have fought for student and community voice in the reforming of our schools — opposing Renaissance 2010 and its closing and turning around of schools against the wishes of our communities and the betterment of our educations. In our experience Ren2010 disrupts schools and takes away the heart of what school is all about—our relationships with teachers.
    more at
    and at

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