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Education Thu Jan 08 2009
According to the Washington Post, the Chicago reform model implemented by CEO Arne Duncan could become the model for the United States when he takes the helm as Secretary of Education.
According to Professor Elliot Weinbaum of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education:
"Obama chose Arne Duncan for a reason, and part of that reason is the experimentation that Duncan has done in Chicago and his real attention to data and outcomes." .... "Duncan's willing to try new things and see if they work, hopefully keep the ones that do and drop the ones that don't. I expect that experimentation to continue on a national scale."
One of Duncan's most famous "experiments" is the proliferation of charter schools across the city and his ability to get around the state cap on charters.
According to parents who sent their kids to Aspira Charter School, this "experiment" led to the strip-search of their children by off-duty police officers during school hours.
The teacher who blew the whistle on this activity was rewarded by being fired. As charter schools are non-union schools, she had no recourse in the matter.
Duncan, who is facing confirmation hearings next week, did not return two days of phone calls by the Sun-Times in relation to the story. Apparently "accountability" is only important when it comes to test scores; when it comes to the dignity of children, "experimentation" is acceptable.