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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Diane Ravitch asks: Is Arne Duncan really Margaret Spellings in Drag?

Check out Diane's latest on her Ed Week blog.

... based on what I have seen to date, I conclude that Obama has given President George W. Bush a third term in education policy and that Arne Duncan is the male version of Margaret Spellings. Maybe he really is Margaret Spellings without the glasses and wearing very high heels.....

Part of the stimulus money, he told Sam Dillon of The New York Times, will be used so that states can develop data systems, which will enable them to tie individual student test scores to individual teachers, greasing the way for merit pay. Another part of the stimulus plan will support charters and entrepreneurs.

Duncan paid his first visit to New York City last week ("New Education Secretary Visits Brooklyn School," New York Times, Feb. 19, 2009). He did not visit a regular public school, but a charter school. Such decisions are not happenstance; they are intended to send a message. Bear in mind that the regular public schools enroll 98 percent of the city's one-million-plus students.

At the charter school, Duncan endorsed the core principles of the Bush education program. According to the account in the Times, Secretary Duncan said that "increasing the use of testing across the country should also be a spending priority." .... Wow! More testing is needed. In New York City right now, students take a dozen tests a year. How many more should they take? How much of the stimulus package will be used to promote more testing across the country?...

(for the picture, thanks as always to our resident Photoshop genius, David Bellel).

1 comment:

Pogue said...

Whoa, that photo is disturbing. It reminds me of Will Ferrell as Janet Reno.