This is not a joke.
Tom Friedman of the New York Times thinks Arne Duncan should be the Secretary of State because he can do to the world what he has done to education.
Wonder what a Race to the Top would look like internationally?
Maybe Arne Duncan has hired a top-notch pr firm?
Or maybe it’s the Peter Principle at work.
Here’s a comment I offered to the article, which may or my not get published:
Arne Duncan’s so-called reforms have not improved schools one bit… even using the nonsensical metrics he has imposed through Race To The Top. If we are really interested in reforming our schools we need use technology to abandon the age-based grade cohorts and standardized test metrics that define the factory school and develop personalized education plans that match instruction to each student’s abilities, learning styles, and interests. Knowing what we know today about child development and having a wide array of freeware available on the web it is frustrating to see our Secretary of Education reinforcing the factory model of schooling developed in the 1920s. Arne Duncan is not reforming education, he’s engineering the model in place. Sal Khan and the developers of MOOCs, on the other hand, are making the kinds of disruptive change that will ultimately redefine schooling. See the Network Schools blog at waynegersen.com for more.
I agree with your comments on Arne. Sal and his videos have a lot to be desired. Teachers have engaged in many ‘innovative’ videos and methods to deliver content. They’ve just been ignored or haven’t gotten on Bill’s good side and hence- the great PR.
If Sal-like videos drove instruction instead of standardized tests teachers would be able to provide a wide assortment of ad hoc just-in-time instruction that matches each student’s ability level and learning style. I think we need more teachers capitalizing on the PR Sal is getting and using the PR to get public $$$ to replicate it. If public education lets the privatizers corner this personalized approach it will play into the narrative that we are stuck in the status quo. Testing grade-level cohorts is the status quo; using technology to personalize teaching is not.
Sure, put him somewhere where he cannot do any more damage to our kid’s education.
The NYT’s column comments are a nice rebuke to this satirical- nah- serious waste of time (ours) and ink and bandwidth.
That’s even more terrifying than four more years as education secretary. I have not seen any particular evidence of diplomatic skills. He has done a fantastic job of alienating and disenfranchising a large part of his “constituency.” Tell me how his skills successfully translate into being our top diplomat?
I agree that I would not be sad to see him go….but the real message in the article is one that shouldn’t be lost in my dislike for the man. The world surely could use a message about how important education is….in fact it is paramount to having a successful country. That is something that wouldn’t just help other nations to remember…..but this one as well!
Yet Another Arne’s Race?
Folks old enough to remember the phrase “Missle Gap” may now leave the theater — this is where you came in …
Tom Friedman is very smart and knows many things. I read his column regularly. However, he knows absolutely nothing about education. NOTHING!
Close &/or privatize embassies that are struggling in terms of diplomacy & conflict resolution?
That’s a good one Leonie. I hope this administration doesn’t take your suggestion seriously. You never know though. Could be another use for his metrics.
Also, let the billionaires decide which ones to open and close. Afterall, they know best.
Another clueless NYT high priest of punditocracy expostulates from his throne 10,000 miles above earth and us mere mortals. Geez, will Friedman and Kristof please take a month off and spare us any more gems on education. Krugman is the real deal, the only one worth reading. I have not ever heard Krugman gush over charter schools or school reform unless I missed it. Am I mistaken? Hope no.
It is not just gems on education contained in the post– it is his insistence that he knows what is good for the Arab speaking world. He writes “We will have to tell needy countries…” (is this what the man who famously told Iraqis to “suck.on.this.” should be saying, BTW?) and he uses of nonsense phrases such as “incentivizing start ups”.
Actually, Arne and Tom Friedman are two peas in a pod.
Ah, the incomparable Tom Friedman, recommending for Secretary of State a man of whom you can’t tell where the fraudulence ends and the buffoonery begins.
Wasn’t Thomas Friedman’s column a great piece of satire? I laughed and laughed. Perhaps his next column will be about Secretary Duncan’s “Final Solution” to the public school problem.
I can just see a “Race to the Top” on foreign aid. Arne would propose and implement it, too.
If they move Arne to SoS I would be scared of who would take his place!!
I nominate Arne to run an after school basketball program at the local Boys and Girls club…that is the most he can handle. There is something sleazy about him…a shyster for sure.
Duncan would institute the following as S.O.S: People who live in those struggling countries have the “choice” to move to another country that provide economic stability, highly qualified and well-trained diplomats, and a leader that graduated from the Global Leadership Academy (no experience in political affairs is necessary). While the failing country phases out, the reminding people who were not accepted by the “Choice Country” would be left to starve. Those who die are not counted in the mortality rate, keeping the human capital rate at all time high, which will make Duncan successful once again.
Friedman has lost it. perhaps dementia is setting in. Duncan Sec of State? Just imagine all the countries competing for aid based on VAM. There could be a global race to the top of something, perhaps the to of the scrap pile.
Here is a great Matt Taibi takedown of Friedman…it is laugh out loud funny.
Thomas Friedman’s New State of Grace
oops: the remaining people who were not accepted by the “Choice Country” would be left to starve
Was this article written on April Fool’s Day? I’m laughing now as I type. Unbeleivable.
There are some great comments from supposedly uneducated Egyptians that their country has many educated people and that they experience chronic unemployment. They were astute enough to protest the government and understand enough to overturn the government and continue to protest undemocratic moves by the military and the Muslim Brotherhood who won elections. Friedman in the article suggests Egypt without Mass education is highly unstable. Then how did India become stable? Why is Pakistan unstable or to what extent? Friedman thinks math and “education” are the key. How is math not in education? It really sounds that Friedman wants these “mass” people back under control and the US to tell what Middle Eastern countries what is wrong with them. Isn’t that what we do in areas of our own country with high poverty and minority rates now? How’s that workin” for ya?
I love the way teachers and their unions are compared to Russia and China. Are we the new Red Scare? Next up: congressional hearings: “Are you or have you ever been a TEACHER?”
I would advocate for Ambassador to Antarctica, but this talk is getting noticed outside the EduWorld.
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