I hesitate to inflict this interview on my readers. You trust me to inform you and even on occasion to make you laugh with a good satire or parody. I try to shield you from pain and double-speak.
But I must share this with you.
Here is the latest interview with the Secretary of Education. It begins with a stomach-turning but accurate admission that education is the one thing that President Obama and the teacher-bashing governor of New Jersey Chris Christie agree on. How’s that for a reassuring opening?
When asked why the evidence for the reforms he is pushing seems weak, Duncan replies it is because they are new and therefore don’t have a 50-year track record. Oh, please, they don’t have any track record at all, yet he is pushing these untested, invalid measures on schools across the nation. Of course, everyone wants great teachers and great principals and great schools, but nothing he is doing is producing those results.
The questioner gently asks why there were no “dramatic” improvements in New York City or Washington, D.C. or Chicago, where Duncan was in charge for eight years. The answer is so vague as to be indecipherable. Ten years of Duncan-style reform in New York City, six years in D.C., twelve years in Chicago, and nothing to show for it. Just have faith! Believe!
I can’t go on.
Maybe you can.
But isn’t it nice to know that Arne Duncan and Chris Christie and all the rightwing governors are on the same page about how to deal with teachers and principals and schools and education?