"Texas miracle" has been a disaster for public education. He's cut $8B from the public ed budget and fired 50,000 teachers despite a glob of state oil revenues and lots of federal military dollars to spend.
Arne Duncan rode the myth of the "Chicago miracle" all the way to Washington. Now Duncan has jumped into the 2012 campaign with a weak jab at Perry and Texas schooling. The problem with the Duncan/Perry dust-up is --they're both worse.
But what about the fact, I responded, that on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Texas' fourth- and eighth-graders substantially outperformed their peers in Chicago in reading and math? "I would have to look at all the details, but there are real challenges in Texas. And like every other state, they should be addressed openly and honestly as in Illinois, as in Chicago, and everywhere else." -- Rotherham at Time"Texas," writes Rotherham, "may be slightly below the national average, but it's doing a lot better than Chicago, which only graduates about 56% of its students."
Irony: Duncan ought to sync with his buddy Rahm in Chicago. Sinking high school test scores there have prompted Emanuel to once again, hold up Texas, with it's supposedly longer school day, as his ideal.
The real reason for Duncan's ire -- Perry is openly calling, not only for an end to NCLB/Race to the Top and for abolishing the D.O.E., he's even raised the possibility of Texas' secession from the U.S. How Duncan's boss would love to run against that!
But Arne's recent history as a political campaigner is pretty grim. Remember how he jumped into the Fenty for Mayor campaign last year to try and save Michelle Rhee's job and helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.Now Duncan has T-Party Republicans across the land begging: "Attack me, attack me!"