With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

More on Fariña pick: You can't go wrong expecting the worst from Duncan.

In yesterday's post on de Blasio's appointment of Carmen Fariña as schools chancellor, I implied that pressure from Arne Duncan and his assistant, Jim Shelton (a Gates Foundation insert at the DOE), was being exerted on the new mayor to appoint a corporate reformer type. As it turns out, I was right on the money. I've learned long ago, that you're almost always on safe ground when anticipating unethical behavior from the Duncan gang.

Yesterday's Washington Post reports:
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and at least one other Education Department official urged New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his team not to choose Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr as the city’s next schools chancellor, according to several people knowledgable about the selection process. It was an unusual move by the nation’s top education official and came in the wake of Starr’s vocal criticism of some of the Obama administration’s school reform policies.
Starr was reportedly on BdB's short list that included Rhee disciple, Maya Henderson and Chicago's school-closing CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. Credit both Starr and de Blasio for not giving in to Duncan's bullying. BdB reportedly offered Starr the number 2 job on the assumption that he would soon take over for the 70-year-old Fariña. Starr declined, opting instead to continue his work in Montgomery County, where he earned the wrath of Shelton by criticizing Duncan's Race To The Top.

Duncan used his position to stump for Rhee and Fenty in D.C.. 
Duncan and Shelton were both big fans of Michelle Rhee in D.C. and Duncan even tried to provide cover for her in the D.C. test-cheating scandal.

According to the Post,
In January 2011, while D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) deliberated on who would succeed Michelle A. Rhee as D.C. schools chancellor, Duncan said publicly that he hoped Kaya Henderson, Rhee’s deputy, would get the job. She did.

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