Thursday, March 5, 2009

Props to the Administration

I must admit that I am very impressed with two big statements from the Obama administration this week. It is very refreshing to see such honesty and transparency in public policy especially in the critical area of education.

The first came from Vice President Biden in Delaware while addressing the teacher's union highlighting the need to get results from the stimulus dollars for education:

"I genuinely need your help to make this work because, folks, look at it this way. We've been given all the ammunition. If we shoot and miss, if we squander the opportunity, tell me how long you think it's going to take for another American president to go and ask for more dollars to correct the education system," Biden said to the Delaware State Education Association members at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in Rehoboth Beach.

The second came for Secretary Duncan in an interview with the Washington Post where he reiterates that money is not the answer – especially if you base it on DC School performance:

"D.C. has had more money than God for a long time, but the outcomes are still disastrous," Duncan said

Secretary Duncan advocates for reforms on a grand scale and encourages schools to use the tools that have worked in charter schools. In a tip of the hat to KIPP, he advocates for longer school days for students that are behind and I totally agree. He also eschews politics for performance when he chastises Congress for eliminating the DC Voucher program. He does not want to send these kids back to DC Public Schools when they have a chance to go to great private schools.

Putting students before politics is a huge step forward and making it clear that there has to be accountability for results with the huge influx of money deserves praise and respect.

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