With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is Vallas angling for Duncan's job? Just asking.

Reading Paul Vallas' strange EdWeek assessment of decade-old NCLB I had a funny thought. This guy is angling for a job in Obama's administration. First read his comment and tell me if I'm nuts.
In summation, I think NCLB's legacy is that it has been the next powerful phase in the federal government’s efforts to improve schools by demanding greater accountability and providing more resources, as begun by the Clinton administration, and it provided a solid base for the current administration to build upon with its ambitious Race to the Top initiative.
The thought struck me that Vallas, who is as they say, between jobs now that his consulting gigs in Haiti and Chile are over, could be a logical replacement for the inept Arne Duncan. Talk about irony. It was Duncan who replaced Vallas as Chicago schools CEO under Mayor Daley. Vallas went on to run the Philadelphia school system into the ground financially and then moved on to create the two-tier school system in post-Katrina New Orleans. In both cities, Vallas led the way in replacing public schools with privately-managed charters.

Duncan on the other hand, has failed to get his K-12 re-authorization bill through congress. He has totally alienated the administration from it's base among teachers and their unions (despite the premature NEA endorsement of Obama) and he crashed and burned with his comment that Hurricane Katrina "was the best thing" that happened to schools in New Orleans. Duncan has staked his reputation upon mayoral control of the schools. Vallas -- not so much.

So I'm thinking, with elections coming up and change in the air, Vallas may be sniffing around Duncan's door. 


  1. Actually, Vallas just got a job, albeit a temporary one, as interim supt. of Bridgeport. Probably not exactly what he had in mind. So you are probably right -- he has his nose in the air.

  2. Yes Buddy, but Vallas has only committed to 1 year in Bridgeport, where he is likely to come in as a hatchet man and then move on.


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