Retired teacher Fred Klonsky notes that Arne Duncan endorsed Paul Vallas for mayor of Chicago. This is no surprise since the two previously worked closely together and their views about privatization are very similar. Duncan is best remembered for his failed “Race to the Top” program, which foisted charter schools on almost every state and the horrendous policy of judging teachers by the test scores of their students, as well as the imposition of the Commin Core standards. A decade after RTTT was launched, the national NAEP exams showed that it changed nothing, although it cost the feds $5 billions and the states and districts many more billions. For nothing.

The NAACP and other civil rights groups (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; National Urban League; The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; National Council on Educating Black Children; Rainbow PUSH Coalition; and The Schott Foundation for Public Education) officially condemned Race to the Top for creating a competition among the states for federal funds, instead of funding the neediest students and districts so they could have experienced teachers, early childhood education, and reduced class sizes. The competition, they agreed, would bypass those who needed funding the most, while implementing harmful policies like school closings.

Klonsky writes:

To the surprise of absolutely nobody Arne Duncan endorsed his former boss at CPS, Paul Vallas, for mayor in an op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune.

When Vallas was Richard Daley’s (2) CPS CEO, Duncan was his deputy chief of staff.

Duncan then went on to be picked by Barack Obama to run the Department of Education and Vallas went on to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, destroying the public school system there by turning it into the largest privatized nearly entirely charter school system in the country.

If it weren’t for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Secretary of Education, Duncan would still hold the title of the worst Secretary of Education ever.

Duncan’s notable achievement as Secretary of Education was the creation of Race to the Top.

Duncan’s idea was to pit states against states in a competition for limited federal education dollars.

It was educational cock fighting.

At the last convention of the National Education Association that I attended as an active teacher in 2011, the delegates voted to adopt a resolution condemning Duncan in what became known as 13 Things I Hate About Arne Duncan.

Among the union’s 13 criticisms are Duncan’s failure to adequately address “unrealistic” Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, focusing too closely on charter schools to the detriment of other types of schools, weighing in too heavily on local hiring decisions and failing to see the need for more encompassing change that helps all students and depends on shared responsibility by stakeholders, versus competitive grant programs that the NEA says “spur bad, inappropriate, and short-sighted state policy.”

To say that public school teachers detested the policies of Arne Duncan is an understatement.

Duncan and Vallas have always been brothers from another mother.

They worked hand in hand blowing up CPS.

When Vallas moved from Chicago to head the Recovery School District in New Orleans, Duncan applauded Hurricane Katrina for blowing up New Orleans schools.

Duncan said 2005’s Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans,” because it led to hiring Paul Vallas.

Vallas completed the job that Hurricane Katrina started.

Last year Duncan hinted that he might enter the race for Chicago Mayor. The voter response was underwhelming.

Now he’s endorsing his doppelgänger.

Open the link to enjoy Fred’s art.