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Arne Duncan appointment; Is this the "transparent" form of "change" we can expect?

Since Mayor Richard Daley plucked Duncan from obscurity to head the country's third-largest school district in 2001, Duncan has gained a reputation as a reformer who isn't afraid to rankle the teachers union or punish underperforming schools. His decisions to pay students for good grades, back an unrealized plan for a gay-friendly high school and consider boarding schools often polarized the community while bolstering his renegade image.

Former Chicago schools chief Paul Vallas, who hired Duncan as his deputy chief of staff in 1998. "And he's very close to the president[-elect], which is an important thing, too."

Duncan, who grew up in Hyde Park, has been friends with Obama for more than a decade and was among those who played basketball with Obama on Election Day.

An adviser on Obama's education policy, Duncan has called for more flexibility in the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, but does not intend to scrap the initiative entirely.

The selection of Duncan almost certainly will renew debates about Obama's commitment to public schools.

President has opted not to send his daughters to the district that Duncan oversees. The Obama girls attend the prestigious University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where Duncan also attended and his wife once worked as the athletic director.


In 7 years from 'obscurity' to the

Secretary of Education

Another rising star?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    How many education administrators are well known before become the head of a major school district? I don't think it's too many. 7 years is plenty of experience in that role to become the Secretary of Education.

    Does that mean Duncan was my top choice? No. I would have preferred the former President of Bank Street College of Education, who has a lot of experience running an excellent organization and educating educators in the tried and true methods of progressive education. However, I'm OK with Duncan so far and hopeful because I tend to agree with what Obama has said about his education policies, so I figure it's a good bet that anyone he chooses will champion those policies. Duncan's credentials seem to indicate that he's a pretty good champion of policies, I'm not totally sure he's the best policy advisor though. I guess we'll see.

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  • 1 decade ago

    What did he do, TAKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND? Maybe he didn't want to be your BOY....................................... (FRIEND).

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