"Priority Schools" Campaign Takes a Different Approach

Judy ChuJudy ChuDemocratic Cogresswoman Judy Chu, from California released a report criticizing the US Department of Education's four turnaround school models mandated in its School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. It argues that rather than forcing arbitrary and restrictive models, turnaround efforts need to support proven strategies and empower educators who want to step up and do the challenging work. Most important the report criticized the unrealistic expectations and punitive atmosphere that drives the current mandates. The Chu report analysis presents an alternative narrative about what strategies will work for the nation's lowest performing schools that is much more likely to resonate with admistrators, teachers, parents and students. But a column in Politics Daily points out that the dominant view in Congress, as represented in the posture of Rep. George Miller, is to tweak the current four models.