Friday, March 8, 2013

Arne Duncan's View Of The Role Of Our Schools

February 2013
Be sure to pay close attention to how often Mr. Duncan suggests (or doesn't suggest) the role of PARENTS in the education process.

"Schools can't do this work by themselves.  Where schools sweep their children out the door at 2:30 and onto the streets is simply not good enough... We have 100,000 schools in this country.  Every school has classrooms, they have libraries, many have computer labs, they all have gyms, some have swimming pools.  They don't belong to me, to the Principal, or to the union or to the teachers.  They belong to the community.  We should really be opening these doors and just a very different vision of what schools should be.  Where schools truly become the hearts, the hubs of community life and family life, then I become optimistic about where children can go. 
So, the idea of schools being open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, 12 months out of the year is just a VERY different vision.
Bringing in the non-profit partners, the social service agencies, faith-based institutions and community colleges.  Having a range of programming, academic enrichment being at the core for students with dance, and drama, and art, and music, and chess, and yearbook, and robotics, and GED programs. 
We served tens of thousands of students in Chicago three meals a day- breakfast, lunch and dinner because we worried about them not eating at night.
When schools truly become the hearts of the neighborhood, then great things happen for kids."

Once a community organizer, always a community organizer....