I'm not really familiar with Arne Duncan, and I'm sure many others aren't as well, so here's a press release to a chat tomorrow night on Edweek.org. I know I'll either attend the chat or read the transcript.
New Education Secretary's Impact on Schools When: Wednesday, December 17, 11 a.m. to noon Eastern time Where: http://www.edweek-chat.org Submit questions in advance.
What will President-elect Barack Obama's pick of Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan for U.S. secretary of education mean for the push to improve K-12 schools? Join us for an exclusive chat with two national education policy experts.
About the guests:
Frederick M. Hess, a former public high school social studies teacher, is a scholar and director of education policy studies at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, and a faculty associate at the Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance.
Richard D. Kahlenberg, the author of several books on education, is a senior fellow at the Washington-based Century Foundation, where he writes about education, equal opportunity, and civil rights, and is a senior fellow at Education Sector, also based in Washington.
For more information, read "Obama Picks Duncan for Education Secretary," Education Week, December 16, 2008.17780
Mr. Duncan has a reputation for being "involved" and "accessible." He participates in a weekly Chicago radio call-in show where parents can ask questions. Having said that, I find it interesting to note that Mr. Obama lived in Chicago, but opted not to have his children attend Chicago Public Schools.17779
I'm not the least bit surprised that Obama sent his girls to the Lab School instead of CPS. Not only is the Chicago system very troubled and arcane, but any Hyde Park intellectuals worth their $alt would send their kids to the U of C Lab School.
I think that especially intellectual people of color would be wary of sending their kids to a local attendance school where their abilities would be stereotyped from all directions. Hyde Park is a privileged island surrounded by some very poor and violent neighborhoods. I'm not sure how that affects each particular school building in the area, but I'd be very careful too. Magnet schools depend too much on luck for admission.
As for Mr. Duncan, his background is not in teaching, but he was appointed to replace Paul Vallas because of his administrative abilities. I believe he had been one of Vallas's top aides?
I think Mr. Duncan pick is great because of what he believes, ANY child can learn and succeed. He had an experience of seeing children he once tutored changed for better. I strongly believe any child can learn when given an opportunity by parents/teachers and high expectations from the educators, parents, and the society at large.
The interesting thing/great story about the Obamas is these parents attended one of the best schools in the country. Mrs. Obama's parents were working parents, but still invested in the education of their children. Mrs. Obama is "not an average African American woman, that some of us choose to ASSUME", but an individual who work very hard in all aspects of her life. She made more than $200,000.00 in her last job. With this reasonable income, a family can afford a best school environment for their children.
Thank God for the America, the capitalist nation, a land of opportunities, and freedom. All people have choices and high income provides more choices and flexibility in most choices.
For me, the best investment is my children education and I admire families who pay extra money or work very hard to educate their children in the way that is suitable for an individual child and family.
My daughter goes to a public school and my son goes to a private school. With my experience in schools and interactions with parents/ students and teachers, I believe an African American's children whose parents were born in this country are more likely to learn and succeed in private schools than public schools.
I am from Chicago. Mr Duncan did a good job with the Chicago public schools. With one exception. He started the payment of cash to kids who get good grades. I have an issue with that. But in general he was a good dedicated Superintendent. Mohamed Kubesh17776
I'm very glad to read the positive comments about Mr. Duncan (but I don't like either that he advocates giving children cash for good grades - that's a huge mistake) What I also don't like is what he's saying right now - about Saturday school, longer school hours and school straight through the year. What that really means is - those kids who aren't thriving in school - we give them more school? Someone said you can't solve a problem at the same level of thinking that created it.
For kids who don't succeed in school, we need a different kind of school - not more of the same old thing. Mr. Duncan is WAY off the mark in this regard.I'd need to see some data on summer school - I've rarely seen students blossom and grow in summer school. It would be great if it worked but after summer school they return in the fall more discouraged and disheartened than before.17775
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