Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shaping Education: Form, Reform, or Transform?

President-Elect Obama's pick for education secretary is all the buzz. Should he pick a reformer or a transformer? What will make the unions happy? Who can bridge the gaps between conflicting schools of thought? What will become of NCLB? Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter is betting Obama will tap Denver superintendent Michael Bennet to fill the job, based on his record of negotiating well with the teacher's union. Other names include Chicago's Arne Duncan, Linda Darling-Hammond and South Carolina's Inez Tenenbaum.

I have my fingers crossed for an education leader with the vision, courage and ability to transform schooling into a learning enterprise. School currently drives about half of students out before graduation day. How can we transform the system into one (or many) that prepares students well for their future? It's a tall order, yes. And so worth doing.

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