Jan 26, 2009
While Barack Obama campaigned for president, he talked about the importance of education and promised to revamp the national school system. But nominating Arne Duncan as Education Secretary shows just the opposite.
Duncan has been CEO of the Chicago Public Schools for the past eight years. During that time, he’s used Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” to close dozens of “underperforming” schools, always in poor or working class areas of the city. He didn’t try to improve them; he just closed them. The students were sent to other schools, and ALL of the teachers were fired, no matter what their individual track records were.
Once the schools were closed, the buildings were handed over for a song – to a variety of private organizations and companies that established charter schools.
These charter schools hired new college graduates and uncertified teachers with no experience. They couldn’t possibly be as qualified as the teachers they replaced – but they WERE a lot cheaper. And that’s what mattered most to Duncan and his friends who run these schools.
Even though the charter schools can pick and choose which students they admit, the students have done no better on standardized tests than the public schools they replaced – the same standardized tests used to justify closing the schools in the first place!
Over 80,000 students have been funneled out of the public schools into these unregulated charter schools, all with public school money – by the head of the public schools!
In the name of “reform,” Duncan has gutted the Chicago Public Schools and handed them over to private interests. He’s abandoned the education of tens of thousands of children, while allowing SOME people to make profits with public money.
This is what Duncan’s policy has been. Since Obama wants him for his Secretary of Education, this is the policy Obama wants for the country.
Change? Hope? It sounds like George W. Bush all over again!