Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We're Low on His Agenda

Obama has chosen his Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. In my mind this is a really disappointing choice. He's not Michelle Rhee or Joel Klein, but he isn't that far off either. He's the CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Schools that, as it has been pointed out, the Obamas did not choose for their children.

This is a choice that means things will not change in education during an Obama administration. I think it shows that education is low on Obama's agenda (something I don't find too surprising given the state of our economy and Iraq and Afghanistan). I don't have to like it however.

I had my reservations about Linda Darling-Hammond because I don't think she would have been revolutionary enough. I would have like to see Deborah Meier in the job, but she's probably smart enough to turn it down if it were offered. At least Darling-Hammond would be walking into the job with some experience in the classroom and in school buildings. As Alfie Kohn said
Imagine--an educator running the Education Department.
That is what I had been hoping to see. Instead, we'll spend the next few years fighting for funding in an economic recession while we spend more and more on tests, test preparation, and 'research-based' remediation methods. How sad for our students.


Teacherninja said...

I agree, thanks. I did hear, in a faint ray of hope, that he was an early critic of NCLB, but haven't looked up the details on that.

Scott said...

I don't think he's a great choice, either, but at least he's been in charge of a public school system. It's a very small step up from the current education secretary. Still no advanced degree, though. I guess the qualifications aren't that high to be in charge of education in America. Any wonder we're in the predicament we're in?