One of the greatest insults to America, and education, is the nomination of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. No one seems too concerned about this. I am. Arne Duncan and the Race to the Top Funding proposal must be stopped. Missouri Secretary of Education, Dr. Chris Nicastro, seems oblivious to this fact.
Here is why you should be concerned:
As chief of Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan employed aggressive school reforms that bared no fruit for the student warehouses in inner city Chicago. Violence tripled in the district because he went in and completely closed schools that weren’t performing. Students went to different schools which crossed existing gang boundaries and suddenly things got a whole lot worse. Students performance did not improve inside of Chicago Public Schools as indicated by NAEP scores, while student scores for the state assessment did. Hmmm… Teaching to the test maybe? There is also some concern that teachers were encouraged to falsify grades to pass students along.
MOST INSULTING OF ALL! Arne Duncan has no degree in education, never taught a day in his life, has no degree in educational administration, and never was a principal. Somehow he is qualified to determine educational policy for the whole nation?
The Commissioner of Education must be told no. We can solve our problems at the state level ourselves, and throwing more money at the problem will not fix anything. As an educator, and a husband of an educator, I am insulted by Dr. Nicastro’s pursuit of this money. Thousands of educators in Missouri worked hard to get where they are to make a pittance of a living in comparison to others in the private sector. Many of us are OK with this because we believe in the importance of education. Meanwhile Arne Duncan makes $190,000 a year to mettle in things he knows nothing about. Our Chief Educator in Missouri is incapable of making an accurate assessment of what is good for kids, has not sought any feedback from educators, and continues to forge ahead chasing after money that we don’t even have to begin with.
Here are a couple of articles that discuss who Duncan is, there is a lot more info out there.