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Monday, November 10, 2008

KIPP Co-founder Pushes for National Standards

Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP, suggests the new administration push for national standards and testing as well as public choice. Read his comments here. An excerpt:

"A stark achievement gap exists in public education today. Fourth-graders growing up in low-income communities are already three grade levels behind their peers in high-income communities. I saw this injustice firsthand when I began teaching in 1992 through Teach For America, and the experience continues to fuel my determination to improve education in this country."

"Pick a secretary of education committed to accountability and public school choice: When Obama picks his Cabinet, he will make a strong statement about the direction of his administration.

President-elect Obama should pick a secretary of education who deeply understands the issues of funding and accountability on the federal, state and local levels, and who is passionate about student achievement and growth. Having one national test with one rigorous set of national standards will ensure our children can compete in the global marketplace as well as help parents know how well their children are progressing in school."

"Focus on the early years: Even in this time of economic uncertainty, we need to make critical investments in pre-K and early childhood education.
In his recent book Whatever It Takes, New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough notes that by age 3, children in low-income communities have been exposed to 20 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. By providing a language-rich learning environment at an early age, schools can offset this gap and give children the tools they need to succeed."

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