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  • NOW on PBS

NOW on PBS | A Radical Fix for Schools? | PBS

Duration: 26:46 (Full Program)
Program: NOW on PBS #518

How is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan going to spend $100 billion in stimulus money — almost twice the education budget — to fix the nation's schools? During his seven years running Chicago's public schools, Duncan went head-to-head with the teacher's union and skeptical parents by closing down low-performing schools, getting rid of all the teachers, principals, even the janitors, and reopening them with new staffs as "turnaround schools." It's a drastic step, but the results have been promising.

NOW travels to Chicago to investigate the collateral damage of a top-to-bottom school makeover and to get a glimpse of what the future of education might look like for the rest of the country.

"We have to be willing to experience a little bit of pain and discomfort, but our children desperately need it and deserve it," Secretary Duncan tells NOW. "Just as we have to do it, unions have to change, principals have to change, teachers have to change, parents have to step up ... business as usual is not going to get us there."

Do we need to gut our public schools in order to save them?



Post Date: July 1, 2009