School Ironies: The Fizzle of Arne Duncan’s Chicago Schools “Renaissance”

You can’t keep doing this to kids. This is unconscionable. Kids need stability not shuffled around like checkers on a board. More proof that the policies of Arne Duncan are just sh*t thrown on a wall to see what sticks. Like I’ve said before, we need to give Arne Duncan and all the so-called education reformers tests to see if they are qualified to decide how our children are educated.

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On December 16, 2008, when President Obama held a press conference to announce Arne Duncan as the new US secretary of education, he did so at Dodge Elementary in Chicago, a supposed Duncan success of “school turnaround.”

Obama and Duncan at Dodge Elementary

As the Washington Post notes in 2008:

Dodge Renaissance Academy was a failing school on Chicago’s West Side that the city shuttered in 2002. Duncan reopened the school as an academy where candidates for advanced degrees in education work in the classrooms. Duncan and Obama visited the school three years ago and hailed it as a successful model for teacher residency programs that could be replicated in the toughest schools nationwide.

Hold that “replication” thought.

As WBEZ notes, by 2013, a number of Duncan’s “renaissance” schools were facing closure. Dodge Renaissance was relocated but survived; two others were closed (Williams and ACE Tech), and one…

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