Closing Bad Schools: Is Chicago a Model for the Nation?

How to turn around failing schools

Friday, June 05, 2009

In Chicago, Education Chief Arne Duncan's prescription for failing schools is to shut them down and start over again. Duncan wants to do this nationally. Does this approach work? Joining The Takeaway are Don Fraynd, Turnaround Officer for Chicago Public Schools who worked closely with Arne Duncan, and Marilyn Stewart, the President of Chicago's Teacher's Union.

When schools have single digit performance levels on the state tests, very low reading levels, high levels of disorder, and low attendance, they absolutely need quick change. Without it, students drop out and never realize their dreams. I would ask critics to consider if they would want their own children attending these schools and, if they did, would they want slow change for their children? While relationships are disrupted, they can be re-built with deliberate and honest dialogue. We can create new stability and relationships quickly, but we can never make up for lost time in learning how to read and do math!

– Don Fraynd, Turnaround Officer for Chicago Public Schools

Guests:

Don Fraynd and Marilyn Stewart

Hosted by:

Andrea Bernstein and Todd Zwillich

Comments [1]

Don Fraynd

I appreciated the opportunity to share thoughts on school turnaround on today's show. When schools have single digit performance levels on the state tests, very low reading levels, high levels of disorder, and low attendance, they absolutely need quick change. Without it, students drop out and never realize their dreams. I would ask critics to consider if they would want their own children attending these schools and, if they did, would they want slow change for their children?

While relationships are disrupted, they can be re-built with deliberate and honest dialogue. We can create new stability and relationships quickly, but we can never make up for lost time in learning how to read and do math!

For more information, feel free to contact me at djfraynd@cps.k12.il.us.

Best wishes,
Don Fraynd
Turnaround Officer
Chicago Public Schools

Jun. 05 2009 08:35 AM

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