“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan said. “You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”
Arne Duncan is the elongated Secretary of Education in Washington. As you can see Arne has a hold on a number of subjects; mothers, communities, education, testing, what frightens people, what constitutes brilliance and a number of other things. Just from that one comment that he made to some state superintendents of schools, he has shown his complete ignorance of public education, human emotion and a whole spectrum of human activity.
This is not the first time that our former basketball playing non-educator has made specious statements relating to his job as Secretary of Education. His former job as CEO of the Chicago school system did not go as well as he would have liked. As a matter of fact, Arne was a board member of the Broad Foundation which turns out superintendents with these mandates: Starting in 2002, the unaccredited Broad Superintendents “Academy” has produced graduates who supposedly learned the management techniques to turn the nation’s schools around. The Academy consists of six weekends over a ten-month session, where aspiring leaders are immersed in Billionaire Eli Broad’s management philosophy, which apparently means top-down mandates, high-stakes testing, close schools with low test scores, and never give evidence of compassion lest it be interpreted as weakness.(Diane Ravitch’s blog.
Duncan has used his influence to push the idea of charter schools to the limits. Private- for-profit corporations (some listed on the stock exchanges) come into a failing school district (read big city) and take over a certain number of schools for the school district. They operate under less stringent rules and regulations and can pick and choose what kind of students they get.
Pennsylvania has the loosest law on charter schools. Right this moment, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has had 40 investigations by both state and local authorities into the goings on in some of these schools. The difference in SAT scores in comparison to the school districts is a sad state of affairs- about 100 points lower in math and about 85 points lower in the reading scores.
This is Arne’s baby when he was the Grand Vizier of the Chicago Schools. His family background is helping inner city children to succeed. That is a worthy ambition. I don’t think that at this point in his Secretaryship he has begun to understand that one size does not fit all. Here is some other of Secretary Duncan’s malaprops:
“If we had 95,000 good principals, we’d be done.”
Didn’t he once say that it was teachers, teachers and teachers who were most important?
Arne visited a class in Hawaii with 110 students in the class. You could hear a pin drop when the teacher spoke. So no books or pencils or any intellectual activity is a sign of good education. Does he understand that Hawaii’s schools are not doing well? It is the only state with one school district.
“I see extraordinary schools where 95 percent of children live below the poverty line, where 95 percent are graduating, and 90 percent of those who graduate are going on to college.“
After being challenged to tell where one is, the statements have kind of disappeared.
I also loved the statements about how important community colleges are. There are 14 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All of them are in metro areas. How about some funding for starting up some others.
Please stop talking Mr. Duncan!!!


3 thoughts on “SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE ARNE

  1. Excellent post! Duncan is completely out of his depth in this job and has been since his first day. No doubt he will have a much more lucrative job waiting for him when he retires or (deservedly) is forced out. My bet would be it will be with the Gates Foundation,

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