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View Diary: Education - a comprehensive look at Arne Duncan and Chicago schools (75 comments)

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  •  Arne Duncan and his corporate strong man reform (10+ / 0-)

    This has emerged for me as the most problematic aspect of the Obama administration. In many other areas, Obama has moved towards goals I shared with more caution than I might prefer. I am willing to trust him, however, because his reasons for caution are pragmatic, and I value his judicious approach. In education, however, I am afraid he is barking up the wrong tree. Appointing strong executive authorities, without oversight by school boards, and delegating much of the educational process to private groups whose results will be increasingly reviewed by number-crunching is no answer to America's serious educational problems. Schools are not businesses and even businesses have boards of directors.

    I fear Obama has made a wrong choice in Arne Duncan. He may care as much as you and me about education but has no idea of how to get there. The problem is neither teachers, nor parents, nor students but size of classes and schools, poor deployment of resources, pressing social factors inadequately met, poor mentoring, training and development, and the lack of a vision in the classroom that puts the intellectual and moral growth of each child above the mere acquisition of measurable skills. There is no point in expecting public educaton to train active, responsible citizens if the whole process of education does away with the democratic process and reverts to the hands of one  appointed, strong, unaccountable, executive authority.

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