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Controversial Chicago Mayor Offers Donald Trump Education Policy Advice

Controversial Chicago Mayor Offers Donald Trump Education Policy Advice

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel penned an op-ed for The Washington Post this week criticizing President-elect Donald Trump’s education policy agenda, while offering some advice on school reform.

The op-ed is particularly interesting because Emanuel himself has been the object of controversy several times specifically over education policy concerning the nation’s fourth largest school district.

"Promoting choice at the expense of quality isn’t an education strategy, it’s a political agenda. Rather, those of us creating education policy need to simply focus on providing the quality choices that students deserve," Emanuel says of Trump's education initiative to create universal school choice.

Instead, Emanuel offers Trump four suggestions on how he should proceed with the best interests of students in mind.

Emanuel says Trump should:

Put principals first: Too much focus gets placed on teachers, Emanuel says, ignoring the principals who are responsible for driving standards and accountability. Focus on these leaders, Emanuel says, for optimal success.

Make the early years count: Emanuel advocates for quality preschool and kindergarten.

Fight the toughest battle: Emanuel seems to be alluding to the toughest battle as the battle against inequality in education for students of certain races and income backgrounds. "Investing in quality is key," Emanuel says.

Failure is not an option: For the best interest of students, using quality research and proven methods to implement reform is the only option, Emanuel says.

"Instead of chasing another Washington debate about choice that goes nowhere, let’s work together to help Americans get ahead by investing in better schools regardless of who operates them," he concludes.

While Emanuel has focused much of his efforts on improving Chicago’s schools and has improved the quality in many respects, he’s faced a lot of backlash from teachers and other school leaders throughout his time in office.

Read his op-ed here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

12/20/2016

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