With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Duncan apologizes

On Morning Joe this a.m. Arne Duncan apologized for saying that Hurricane Katrina was "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans." Duncan this morning:
“I said it in a poor way and I apologize for that. It was a dumb thing to say.."
Thanks for that, Arne--even though it took 4 days of meetings with Cunningham and the political line fixers to get things straight. It still takes a big person to admit they were wrong. But I hope you believe it was really wrong and not just "dumb" to say it. Maybe, before it goes away, you could deepen the self-criticism a little. You know, like--what was wrong about it and about some underlying assumptions about how real change takes place.

I wonder what all the Duncan sycophants, apologists, RTTT suck-ups, and bloggers, who loved the Katrina comment, are going to say now that Duncan has criticized himself. I'm thinking here of Andrew Rotherham, who denied there was even any controversy, since nobody "credible" was "upset" by Duncan's remarks. Then there was the usually astute TV-1 interviewer Roland Martin, who made the rounds of next morning's shows to leap to Duncan's defense. Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s superintendent of public education, was quoted in the Washington Post saying that Duncan’s remarks were “a strong statement” but “actually quite accurate.”

Then of course there was New Orleans school czar Paul Vallas, who told the Post, he had "no prolem" with Duncan's remarks. Remember, it was Vallas who bragged in 2008 that now, nobody could tell him what to do:
I have no “institutional obstacles” — no school board, no collective bargaining agreement, a teachers’ union with very little power. “No one tells me how long my school day should be or my school year should be,” he said. “Nobody tells me who to hire or who not to hire.

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