AWOL Newswire: Obama Bombing School Reform

Chris Lewis

This week, renowned educator Pedro Noguera is guest editor of The Nation‘s special education issue. In an editorial, he takes the Obama administration to task for “policies that, to the chagrin of many of [administration] supporters, have had far more in common with the previous administration than expected,” and offers a detailed look at what’s missing in education policy today:

Third, the need for change is clear, but history has shown that change in public education does not come easily or quickly. The Obama administration deserves credit for its willingness to provide funds to promote reform, but it is far too impressed with quick fixes like mayoral control of urban districts and charter schools. Over the past forty years studies have shown that education policy must be devised in concert with health reform, poverty alleviation initiatives and economic development in order to address the roots of failure in the most depressed areas. From crime and unemployment to teen pregnancy and even racism, education—or the lack thereof—is implicated in many of our nation’s social and economic problems. Education can be part of the solution to these and many other problems if reforms are designed and implemented in concert with key constituents—parents, teachers, local leaders and students—and with an understanding of how they must be coordinated with other aspects of social policy.