Nancy E. Bailey is turning into a superstar of education blogging. She is a retired teacher and she has a firm understanding of corporate reform and its dangers.

In this post, she reviews Arne Duncan’s stubborn embrace of dangerous corporate reform.

I will copy only a portion of the post. I urge you to read it all, because it is priceless as an evisceration of failed “reformer” ideas. You should also see her links, which are many.

She writes:

With Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, it might be tempting to see Arne Duncan as an educational expert, but Duncan has never formally studied education, or been a teacher. Duncan paved the way for DeVos.

EdSurge recently brought us Arne Duncan’s 6 lessons about education. They are nothing but the same old corporate reforms that have destroyed public schools and the futures of children for years.

The lessons are wrong.

Here are his claims and my anti-arguments.

He emphasizes early childhood education and the economy.

While there’s a school-to-work connection, especially with older students in high school, teaching young children should be about their development, not promoting the economy.

Too often this message results in pushing young children to work at a higher level than they’re capable.

The report of which Duncan refers is by James J. Heckman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. It highlights the economy and the nation’s workforce.

Here are the subheadings of the article.

*Early childhood development drives success in school and life.
*Investing in early childhood education for at-risk children is an effective strategy for reducing social costs.
*Investing in early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for promoting economic growth.
*Make greater investments in young children to see greater returns in education, health and productivity.

His thoughts about equity are misleading.

Duncan argues that poor children need something different than what wealthy students find in their schools.

But poor children deserve well-run schools, with resources and qualified teachers, not strict charter schools run by management companies and novices.

Most charter schools care more about their bottom line.

Feeding poor children and health screenings should be a part of every school plan.

If Duncan cared so much about grief and trauma in children, why didn’t we see an increase in counselors, school nurses, and school psychologists under his watch?

He claims class sizes don’t matter.

This has been the refrain by reformers like Bill Gates for years and it is false.

Here’s the STAR study as one example in favor of lowering class size.

Lowering class sizes would help teachers have better overall classroom management.

Students would be safer, and children would get a better grasp of reading and other subjects in the early years.

He says teachers matter more than class size.

Real teacher qualifications matter. But that’s not what Duncan is talking about.

He is promoting the faulty idea that a “good” teacher can manage huge class sizes. Of course, this makes no sense.

This is also connected in a roundabout way to replacing teachers with technology. Imagine one teacher teaching thousands online.

Duncan has always been on the side of Teach for America fast-track trained teachers. Consider that they will likely become charter school facilitators, babysitters, when students face screens for their schooling.

He uses teachers as the fix for poverty.

This is an old and dangerous refrain. This message drove No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. It made standardized testing and one-size-fits all common practice.

Teachers can help students, but economic forces are greater than anything a child can learn at school.

Blaming teachers for the problems in the economy, has always been about getting the public to take their eyes off the real culprit of economic woes, the greed of those who run corporations!

Please read on. This is a great post!