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And thanks for dornin is here's -- -- have of the top of the stack the education system and our country is stuck in a model that hasn't changed for decades.
Sure they've tried new ideas but the structure has remained the same.
Parents -- teacher teachers blame parents and the administrators they just want more money yet money and educational success don't always aligned with each other.
So what is the answer to -- forming and updating our education system.
Joining me now the former DC schools chancellor and author of radical fighting to put students first Michelle -- So Michelle you know -- about the book radical is so perfect because.
I was you know I've known you for a number of years but I I went back and looked at number of the of the stories and -- so there's a lady that writes an education.
Column for the Washington Post.
I don't think she likes you very much -- She wants she -- people ask you questions about all the horrible things that the river happening your -- -- this is a book about what you think education should be.
What you made enemies along the road so radical thing that's -- you're you're breaking the the education -- You know -- interesting you know good the title of the book because when I first got to DC in became the chancellor there.
It was the lowest performing and most dysfunctional district in the entire nation.
And so the actions that I where it was taking you know closing down low performing schools.
Removing ineffective employees cutting -- central office bureaucracy that was -- in half.
I thought they were just obvious things but people started saying I'll you know she's -- lightning rod -- controversy -- she's a radical.
I was really confuse a broad will the move the stuff they're supposed to be doing to make the you know.
District work and so finally I thought -- if if you know bringing some common sense to a dysfunctional system makes me a radical then I'm absolutely fine being -- Why is it.
That we have and you can you talk a little bit about this your book about the fact that.
But this country but we have so many innovations in technology and we're a leader in the world and so many different areas.
But when it comes to schools and education were were not we've slipped that's.
And -- -- we -- -- we're stuck in the same mold I've heard many many times that our grandparents went to school with.
That's exactly right and you know the US is -- seventeen and 25 and reading science and math across the entire club.
And you know some people say well he -- you know we've we've kind of we haven't gotten -- And that's absolutely right over you know since the 1960s or seventies.
American kids have pretty much been stagnant in terms of their academic achievement so we haven't gotten worse what has happened.
Is that countries are catapulting.
Had -- us so our 25 ranking.
In math puts us behind countries like Hungary.
We have countries like Latvia and Liechtenstein that are growing at two to three times the rate academically that we are.
So even though we haven't slipped in terms of our kids' academic achievement levels because were operating on the agrarian calendar for school year.
Because we haven't changed -- innovated in a hundred years.
We're falling behind the rest of the country for -- -- heard the rest of the world that standpoint.
So are you getting any are you noticed any change that I have to tell you -- -- big President Obama fan but I'm a fan I think of Arnie Duncan.
I kinda like what he's doing with this kind of a merit base yes.
Go out there and you can did some money sort of thing about a big fan of the Department of Education neither I think it should be local but but he seems like he's trying.
Is he making any headway.
I will tell you that's at the Obama administration's secretary Duncan in in particular to your point they said.
We can't just take federal dollars and push them out to the districts based on a formula -- it it hasn't worked.
So what they did was they took four billion dollars they put it aside in what -- called the race to the top grant.
And they said we're only gonna give this out to states that are actually reforming.
Their districts and doing something differently and that.
In a short period time and I think the country has ever seen before so the idea I think was absolutely right.
And now I'm starting to see some changes you're starting to see.
States that are taking this issue on states like Florida Indiana Ohio Michigan.
Where they become very very aggressive about making sure that they're putting the laws and policies in place.
That are going to prioritize -- So what's -- so this battle again to try to change this old format.
What needs to be done who who is -- who is stopping the reform.
That's why I wrote the book in many ways so that.
One number one I could tell my story.
And what people understand educators and people understand kind of how I came to the stance that I did.
But the reason I wrote radical was for everyday moms who -- out there.
Who are frustrated with the public education system who don't know how to change it want to do something.
This is sort of a roadmap for them it's -- stories of other parents who took a stand and you know put pressure on their legislators and and got a law passed -- changed so it gives people real sense of what they can do to help change the system.
Charter schools and home schooling -- do they work.
You know it depends on the charter school you have some of the high.
Most amazing schools in this country that are doing unbelievable thing for the things for -- minority kids are charter schools.
And we has not so good charter schools so that.
The charter school sector is not that end all be all of that label you can't just broad brush now you can't what you have to do with charter schools with public schools -- private schools.
As you have to have accountability.
You have to say you know if -- producing great results for kids then we're gonna support you and if you're not -- -- gonna close you down.
But that the the good thing about charter schools is that it is finally a factor that is providing options for families who in the past.
Didn't have any options all they all they could do is send their kid to a neighborhood failing school which as you know is heartbreaking for dinner.
There was -- article in the Daily Beast this week about you and the fact that you're trying to shake loose from the Democrats.
-- I'll go back to again the lady who writes the education -- Washington Post.
Said that you were somehow in bed with Republicans.
You know I'm I'm trying to figure out -- wait a -- one is it's using you'll be in a body with the Republicans and other when saying your body with Democrats.
But here's the bottom lines of what the politics with it in all of this and do you have to -- -- with one party.
Absolutely not as the quick answer I mean we have conservative Republicans like Chris Christie.
And John Kasich and -- -- evolved from from Nevada who support.
Our efforts and we also have Liberal Democrats like Antonio -- -- those of the mayor of LA Cory Booker.
My husband who's the mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson.
These are some of the most prominent people -- Democratic Party.
And so what this shows you is that you can't choose any one of our supporters and kind of pigeonhole students first and the effort this is actually.
The one issue I think that we have the greatest opportunity of making into a bipartisan issue.
And that's what have to happen we can't you can't play the party politics but here.
Teach how to bring it the the yellow -- room teachers' unions.
Yeah -- -- they align with the Democratic Party they have in the past but you know -- and you now have people like Rahm Emanuel democratic.
Mayor of of Chicago who took a strike against the unions because he knew.
That what they were asking for was not in the best interest of kids and so he was willing to stand up to the unions.
So you're starting to see a new day in the Democratic Party where people -- politicians are saying you know what.
We can't just align with the unions because we always have we have to start doing what's right for kids -- the.
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