The Failure Of Obama’s School “Turnaround”

Photo credit: Bill Selak

Just this January, it was reported that figures crunched at the end of Mr. Obama’s turn as POTUS determined that one of his pet project, SIG – School Improvement Grants – with their heavy emphasis on School Turnaround, was a dismal failure after an influx of taxpayer funds to the tune of 7 BILLION dollars. Wait for it….


It will always be ‘interesting’ to me that, though I can’t think of one federal program – specifically dealing with public education – that has used taxpayer dollars to obtain results, we continue to allow and prop up federal meddling in our state’s education policy. I’m serious – I can’t think of one.

All you have to do is say the word Head Start and any researcher worth their salt will shake their head like a rag doll and roll their eyes.

Here’s the WORST part about the “Turnaround” model. Guess what? It didn’t even work in Chicago where it was piloted. Get this headline from the Daily Good, “Results at Arne Duncan’s First Chicago Turnaround School Raise Efficacy and Legal Questions.”

What? Seriously? So the Obama administration held taxpayers upside down and gravitized 4.5 BILLION dollars from their pockets for the whole School Improvement Grant deal, even though Duncan’s own concept – tried right in his own backyard – DIDN’T WORK and they KNEW it didn’t work?

Holy taxpayer fleecing Batman!

The interesting part is that either the failure part of the story never gets told, or like here, that result is taken to mean that we didn’t spend enough or didn’t do this or that or the other thing to make it work. There’s nothing wrong with government meddling, socialists think, it’s just that we never really attack the challenge properly. Socialism would work dangit, we just aren’t DOING it right. Kind of like you see here in this article on the 74 million, “8 Lingering Questions to Confront After the Failure of Obama’s School Turnaround Plan.”

Why is it that we have to postmortem a failed FEDERAL education policy? Well, we DON’T, it’s just the education policy wonks won’t have a job if you take that away from them!

Trickle down government doesn’t work. It never has and it won’t ever. The best way to tackle any problem – especially education – is at the local level where the people who benefit most can be encouraged to become involved and work toward a mutually agreed upon situation that will help the most number of people.

Here’s an excellent example. Just recently, a teacher at the school in my small town, wanted to get the Rush Revere series for her class to teach them history. There was no money in the budget to get the books, so the online newspaper published her request and it was shared in and around the town. Low and behold, the money was secured to buy enough books for every kid to have one. Granted, more money is still needed, but the immediate need was met and more fundraising can be accomplished for the long term.

No Government program meant to help all students can help all students. That is the premise behind every failed socialist program. There IS NO HELPING EVERYONE. We can only do what we can for those we can.

Cross-posted from Reclaiming Oklahoma Parent Empowerment

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