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Why School Reform Is Urgent

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed written by Dean Kathleen McCartney that appeared on on August 30. To read the entire piece, please visit

Across the country, parents have been busy preparing their children for the return to school. They have been buying new backpacks, new school supplies and new clothes.

Their goal is not to stimulate the economy; rather, they are providing incentives to jittery children who are about to trade the halcyon days of summer for homework. Change is hard -- and new sneakers ease the blow.

Education policy is changing, too. Last week, the Department of Education announced the second round of winners of its Race to the Top competition. Nine states and the District of Columbia received $3.4 billion thanks to funds included in the stimulus package.

The winning states are making dramatic changes in how they do business -- adopting common standards and assessments, building data systems that measure student growth and success, retaining effective teachers and principals, and turning around their lowest performing schools.

Critics are already on the attack. (more...)


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