With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Duncan big on accountability. But not his own.

Arne Duncan is the great educational know-nothing. As a result, he loads his speeches up with empty clichés and meaningless phrases in place of solid dialog about teaching and learning.

In a speech Monday at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Duncan tells his faithful,
"When students enroll in college, he said, the chances of a successful outcome — getting a degree — amount to “a coin toss.”
“The challenge we face is easy to articulate, if not to solve.” There is, he said, “a lot of heavy lifting and culture change ahead.”
 "This is not a free lunch for higher education by any stretch."
He goes on to decry the "lack of accountability" (not his own) in public ed. He blames it all on "politics" and "bureaucracy". This coming from Pres. Obama's chief political appointee to the top of the one of the world's biggest bureaucracies.

It all reminds me of when Duncan was Mayor Daley's patronage pick to run Chicago's schools back in 2001. He had been the protege of investment banker and Daley pal Jonathan Rogers, who Duncan claims, taught him "the business of education."

When I proposed putting a new small public school inside of shuttered Austin High School, Duncan said he would get the board to okay it, but warned that it had to be charter school. When I asked why, he explained that otherwise, "the bureaucracy will f_ck with you". I rejected the idea and responded: "But Arne. You are the bureaucracy. Why don't you just not f_ck with us?"

He seemed puzzled, but relented.


Students protest re-closing of Duncan's turnaround school. 
In 2008, Dodge Elementary was where then president-elect Barack Obama, after drinking the "Chicago Miracle" kool-aid, announced Duncan as his pick for Secretary of Education.
“He’s shut down failing schools and replaced their entire staffs, even when it was unpopular,” Obama said at the time. “This school right here, Dodge Renaissance Academy, is a perfect example. Since this school was revamped and reopened in 2003, the number of students meeting state standards has more than tripled.”
But fast forward another five years, Dodge was closed again.

CPS spokesperson at the time said there was no one available to speak with the media on the record about the closing. She said CPS is “focusing on the challenges of today.”

Translation -- We don't need no stinkin' accountability.

1 comment:

  1. I believe Arne Duncan and Bill Gates comprise the most devastating stain upon the legacy of the president for whom I voted in 2008 and 2012. There has not been much demand for accounting from the republicans.....who simply smirk quietly, as they must think......education is an issue upon which we don't have to waste time criticizing Obama. It has been a huge failure among democrats to do what republicans have had not interest in doing.......recognize the push towards re segregation by privatization.


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