Cabinet Series: Stupid is What Stupid Does – New Chicago Education Czar

Don’t you find it just a bit moronic, excuse me…”ironic“, that Obama would select his new Education Czar, Arne Duncan, from Chicago? After all, this is the same school system where Obama did not put his daughters.

In this article in USA Today, we are offered a bit more information about Duncan: 

Duncan, 44, has supported higher pay and better working conditions for teachers. He has championed district schools, which are managed by the Academy for Urban School Leadership. The academy trains new teachers and boasts a 90% teacher retention rate.

He has also backed No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s 2002 education law, but testified in 2006 that Congress should amend it to give schools, districts and states “the maximum amount of flexibility possible” to implement it.

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First, note there is no reference on what Duncan actually did FOR THE KIDS!

As for No Child Left Behind, the flexibility Duncan wanted was “No Accountability for His Behind“.

And as for his other accomplishments, Duncan did a lot for the teachers, retaining 90% of them. When you look at Chicago schools report card, it’s easy to see how he retained them: They had nowhere else to go, as this article in the Chicago Tribune explains:

CHICAGO – A spokesman for the Chicago Public Schools says authorities are expected to announce next month plans to close or consolidate at least 20 schools next school year. That’s up from 18 last year. 

chool system spokesman David Pickens says eight to 12 struggling schools, including at least two high schools, probably will be targeted for closing based on poor academic performance. 

What is the result of all this hard work and restructuring of the Chicago school system?  According to this report from the University of Chicago

After a lifetime of reforms under Mayor Daley, how do Chicago public school students stack up against their big-city peers?

Anywhere from the near-bottom to the middle of the pack, according to fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores released Thursday for 11 big-city districts.

Given this record of achievement by Duncan, I am not surprised that Obama selected him to be the leader of our nation’s education program. When it comes to true leadership, Obama doesn’t have a clue what to look for.

Put simply, Chicago would have been better off having hired a chimpanzee as the CEO of the system. They could have saved a lot of money, and gotten the same results.

That’s my rant!

© 2008 Kevin Jackson – The Black Sphere All Rights Reserved

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