Thursday, August 25, 2011

Arne Duncan's new job at the D.O.E.? Celebrity catcher

The ed secretary now appears to be in charge of silencing the administration's Hollywood critics.WaPo's Valerie Strauss broke the story with a leak from inside Duncan's department.
According to two people familiar with the efforts, the administration tried to arrange a meeting with Damon and government officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, before the July 30 march. The sources declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Duncan went so far as to offer Matt a ride from the airport if only he would agree not to appear with his teacher mom at the SOS rally. Matt of course, declined. 

Strauss at the Answer Sheet:
I’ve said before that it is fair to wonder if the sudden interest was akin to the administration’s efforts last summer to blunt criticism of Obama policies when a coalition of civil rights groups released a framework for education reform. In the few days before the framework was released, administration officials met with some of the coalition leaders, and a few of them backed off their criticism. Why was the administration so keen on meeting with Damon and march leaders just before the event?
Brother Fred asks: "Shouldn’t the guy be in his office studying his beloved data instead of pretending to be part of a plot from the Bourne Identity??



  1. All Duncan needs now is a pith helmet, a butterfly net, and a chauffeurs license.

  2. Twice I was with a group of parents who went to speak at a Wed. Board of Ed meeting, those crowded, chaotic events.

    Each time, the first with Arne and the second with Ron, a staff came to the group politely offering a private meeting with the CEO instead of our wasting our time at the public meeting. The first time, we agreed. The meeting was cordial, promises were made and never referred to again.

    The second time a staffer presented the offer, we just starting shaking our heads while he prattled on. We had our say in public for the record.

    Looks like Matt was smarter than we were the first time around. Good for him. Can you imagine -- some dodo offered him a ride from the airport if he would go back on a promise to his mom?! What kind of a jerk makes that offer?
    If he had, on the other hand, offered to have a meeting the evening before with Matt, his mom, and Diane Ravitch, then maybe there would have been something worth their wile.

    That shows me that Duncan is really worried about celebrity in this debate, because it draws so much attention from the general public who can’t always grasp the details of the corporate-style ed reforms and the misinformation campaigns around them.

    That is where educators should push hard and fast to bring the public in on this.

    Also, it would be great to have some big names supporting Karen Lewis on Sept 13 during her debate w. Brizard. They could be in the audience. There could be a showing of the anti-Waiting for Superman movie nearby in the U of C Biz School auditorium, or one of the AMC theatres the night before.

    This meeting will be a big push by Rahm to change public opinion and narrow the debate to simply the unions hate a longer school day, these greedy teachers won’t give up a little to save our kids.

    My two cents, for what its’ worth.


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