So far, he seems to be mainly under the sway of the conservative Democrats like the DFER hedge-fund school reformers as well as the Klein, Sharpton, Gingrich EEP group. Left mainly out of the mix so far, are the right-wing thin-tankers who ruled the roost at the Bush DOE. Chester Finn of the Fordham Institute is chief among those badly disappointed that Duncan hasn't gone far enough when it comes to busting teacher unions, closing inner-city schools or starving them into submission.
His latest diatribe,"Declaring Educational Bankruptcy" is in the latest National Review (surprise!), Finn wants Congress to remove all federal funding from "slacker schools"--read, those with lots of kids who score below the mean on their standardized tests.
But for Finn, even closing the low-scoring schools isn't nearly enough.
If a school is actually closed, even temporarily, they must be accommodated in another one, which brings to bear all manner of rules, court orders, transportation challenges, crowding issues, etc.Maybe Finn is thinking we could de-fund the slacker courts and get rid all manner of rules while we're at it.