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Thread: Obama's education pick: Arne Duncan

  1. #1
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    Obama's education pick: Arne Duncan

    Haven't seen much chatter about cabinet picks lately. This guy is one of the better ones, imo. He did a great job in Chicago. (As a parent here, I'm sad to see him go.)

    (Tom Vilsack as Ag. Secretary, imo, is not such a good choice, but that's another thread.)

    [QUOTE]Education Pick Backs Test-Heavy Regime
    By JOHN HECHINGER, JANET ADAMY and ROBERT TOMSHO

    The Obama administration's selection of Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan as education secretary signals an intent to maintain a rigorous system of standardized tests in public schools, while experimenting with reforms disliked by unions, such as teacher merit pay.

    In announcing the appointment Tuesday at a Chicago news conference, President-elect Barack Obama said he and Mr. Duncan share a "deep pragmatism" and a willingness to tap ideas often associated with conservatives. "Let's not be clouded by ideology when it comes to figuring out what helps our kids," Mr. Obama said.

    Mr. Duncan's "strength is really his openness to ideas and a real interest in data and how things are working," said John Easton, executive director of the Consortium of Chicago School Research, a University of Chicago program that has studied the city's schools.

    One of Mr. Duncan's first tasks will be deciding what to do about the federal No Child Left Behind law, enacted in 2002, and now due for reauthorization. The statute, which has divided educators, requires all students to be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Schools that don't make adequate progress on tests measuring student achievement face sanctions.

    During his campaign, Mr. Obama said he favored helping troubled schools rather than punishing them. Asked about the law in Chicago yesterday, Mr. Duncan told reporters he thought the ideas behind the law make a lot of sense, adding that he plans to look at data to evaluate it.

    Mr. Duncan is also taking over at a time when the financial crisis is taking a toll on colleges. His approach to post-secondary education isn't well known.

    The 44-year-old Harvard graduate has earned a reputation as someone who has found ways to carry out major overhauls without alienating key constituencies. Mr. Duncan has generally maintained the support of the Chicago Teachers Union.

    Marilyn Stewart, CTU president, said Tuesday the union didn't agree with several of Mr. Duncan's initiatives, including his push to close troubled schools and get rid of some teachers. But the two sides have been able to build a relationship because Mr. Duncan has helped the union push programs it supports, Ms. Stewart said. Those include an initiative called Fresh Start Schools, a pilot program for schools on the verge of closing that gives them more autonomy, rigorous reviews of teachers and extra funding.

    Another program the union cites is the Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP. Among other things, it uses performance-based compensation to reward teachers when test results and other measures of their students' achievement improve.

    Asked why she and Mr. Duncan have been able to work together despite their differences, Ms. Stewart said: "When I've called Arne Duncan, he's always returned my calls."

    "What we have seen is a superintendent who has a very big system and who gets it and understands that you have to work with teachers," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the CTU's parent union. "You try new ideas, but you do that with collaboration."

    In 2007, Mr. Duncan helped avert a strike by agreeing to a new five-year contract with the CTU. It grants a 4% wage increase every year and a three-year freeze on insurance costs. To supporters, the pact showed Mr. Duncan's flexibility and strength as a negotiator. Some teachers opposed the contract because it contained a provision to explore lengthening the school day.

    [B]Scores on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, which is used to hold schools accountable under the NCLB law, have improved markedly during Mr. Duncan's seven-year tenure. For the 2007-2008 school year, 65.2% of students met or exceeded state standards, compared with 38.3% in 2000-2001.[/B] The gains included all minority groups, but there was still a major shortfall in the test scores of black and Hispanic students, when compared with whites.[/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2917287]Haven't seen much chatter about cabinet picks lately. [/quote]

    Can only speak for myself.

    I no longer care.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2917426]Can only speak for myself.

    I no longer care.[/QUOTE]

    It's not just you.

    Sort of ironic that we lose interest in politics at the very moment the real policy stuff begins to happen.

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    He would be spitting into a hurricane of teachers!

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan;2917454]He would be spitting into a hurricane of teachers![/QUOTE]

    Duncan was pretty good in Chicago at getting the unions to accept things they usually don't (charter schools, teacher accountability standards) without pissing them off too much (in part because the good teachers got raises). He tried a lot of innovative things and, while the system here has a long way to go, the improvement in test scores speaks for itself.

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    nuu, I didn't know you live in Chicago. Kind of puts together the whole Obama love-fest in my mind now ;):D

    All kidding aside, it's very interesting what's going on in your state right now.

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;2917474]nuu, I didn't know you live in Chicago. Kind of puts together the whole Obama love-fest in my mind now ;):D

    All kidding aside, it's very interesting what's going on in your state right now.[/QUOTE]

    Interesting is one word for it.

    I'm personally thrilled Blagojevich may be going to jail. I loathe the guy. Voted against him last time.

    He's an embarassment, obviously, but maybe that's what's needed to clean things up around here. Having two governors in a row in prison will be ... something.

    And you're right: My interest in Obama started when he was in the state senate here. (He made his mark on some criminal justice issues that got a lot of attention when I was in college here.) It's been fun watching him rise since.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2917460]Duncan was pretty good in Chicago at getting the unions to accept things they usually don't (charter schools, teacher accountability standards) without pissing them off too much (in part because the good teachers got raises). He tried a lot of innovative things and, while the system here has a long way to go, the improvement in test scores speaks for itself.[/QUOTE]

    It looks like the bar was set pretty low before him.

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    [QUOTE=Postseason;2917513]It looks like the bar was set pretty low before him.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, but it's set awful low in a lot of big city school systems and you rarely see improvement like that.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2917460]Duncan was pretty good in Chicago at getting the unions to accept things they usually don't (charter schools, teacher accountability standards) without pissing them off too much (in part because the good teachers got raises). He tried a lot of innovative things and, while the system here has a long way to go, the improvement in test scores speaks for itself.[/QUOTE]

    What's his view on vouchers? That's the only way our public schools will make any headway! Force them to compete for students just like colleges do!

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    [QUOTE=asuusa;2917935]What's his view on vouchers? That's the only way our public schools will make any headway! Force them to compete for students just like colleges do![/QUOTE]

    He's ok with charters but not vouchers, or at least that's what he did in Chicago.

    But, honestly, his approach was basically to experiment with a lot of different things. (One cool thing was letting corporations "adopt" themed charter schools. One was taken over by the investment firm Ariel Capital, which gave the school a math/finance focus. Ariel gave it money and volunteers. Scores went up. Very novel program. There was a lot of private sector interaction like that with the school system, and most of it seemed to work.)

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    Nuu...

    Did he attempt in Chicago to tell teachers how to teach?

    I'm very curious.

    PS - Getting private business involved in education is generally a bad idea. The main goal of private business is to make a profit, not, to do what's right for the kids or the teachers.

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    [QUOTE=Schroy48;2920840]Nuu...

    Did he attempt in Chicago to tell teachers how to teach?

    I'm very curious.

    PS - Getting private business involved in education is generally a bad idea. The main goal of private business is to make a profit, not, to do what's right for the kids or the teachers.[/QUOTE]

    Are you under the impression that the teachers union is 'all about the kids' as they protect bad teachers with the same energy as good ones?

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    What's his view on vouchers? That's the only way our public schools will make any headway! Force them to compete for students just like colleges do!
    ASUUSA?????????????

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    You could not be more wrong.

    ----------------------------------------
    Anyone, ANYONE, that seriously considers the lack of education in our country is do to teachers, is lost.

    1.) Taking money away from Education after you barely support it as is, is absurd. You don't take books, teachers, staff help, out of the schools and expect better, that's insanity.

    2.) No child left behind, was another scam by Bush and his Mcgraw hill buddies. If you believe it was any more than to make Billions of dollars for Bush's daddy's buddy Mcgraw, then wrong again.

    3.) Accountability is great, but when you lose site of educating students to taking tests, then you've thrown the baby out with the bath water.

    4.) Teachers, Cops, Firemen, are the least paid people in our society and should be most paid, they do the REAL work in this country. So tired of hearing some rich dumb a$$ talk about education. You don't cut pay of teachers, which are already at the lowest pay grade of the 3 above.

    5.) Inner City Teaching jobs and the influx of non-english students, is an incredibly hard job. I was up for Finalist for Teacher of the year in Dade County in 1996, 3rd biggest district in the USA. There are a lot of variables and the least of which is money. You cut money, you lose people like me and others, we went private and made a lot more money.

    6.) You must pay combat pay to inner city teachers or good teachers that make things happen, My 2 partners and I pulled an F school to C, no bonus money, no nothing but a plack. If anyone in private industry could have done that, it would be equivalent to making sure that you go from RED to BLACK after being stuck in RED for YEARS!

    7.) next, how about some Frigging accountability with PARENTS. Kids get in trouble, make their parents do the time. How many times a week do teachers have to put up with abusive, nasty, Parents, who are NOT involved in discipline or in TURNING OFF THE TV, or having their children read for 30 minutes a day. Bet most people on the list, did not even know that part of No Child Left behind has parents agreeing to reading to their children for 30 minutes nightly. Want to guess at the percentages of parents that do? STAGGERING! The more money, less reading, the less money, less reading. OUr children are coming into the schools describing pornographic incidents in kindergarten, pre-school.


    8.) Wake up Parents! This is YOU! Get off your butts, turn off the tv, and go read and work with your kids and stop blaming teachers, cops, firemen for your countries woes.

    9.) Stop the race to 0 on pricing, stop the nonsense debates about nothing and get to real work, otherwise shut up and take it, like the rest of us.

    Taking more money from the educational system is absurd. Starting teachers with full Bachelor's degrees, cross the country starting at $20K!
    YES, $20K, living in what would be known as poverty, Wake up, start realizing you have to pay for things.

    Walmart killed our country, you want to go that way with your children's education as well? Take your kids to China then. Want to try and save America, putting money in and getting rid of the top brass would seriously help. NO more $100K Secretaries downtown with NO college experience, and boning the head guys, who don't know $hit anyway!

    Stop letting them take money away from Education, it's a lie. Kill no child left behind while you can. Mcgraw hill and Bush's buddies have taken enough and given nothing! Our EDU system is far worse than it was 7 years ago and it's time for real system like in China where children don't perform, parents are punished. Try that, guarantee you'll have total success in the US. It's about accountability, but not for education, for PARENTS, and loudmouths who know nothing about the intricacies of making successful schools.

    If you want to research me, I'll give proof of what I say.

    Wake UP and help your kids and their friends, some of your kids have friends with parents that are less than helpful, Pick up the slack for them.

    Teachers do it for you, everyday!

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    Are you under the impression that the teachers union is 'all about the kids' as they protect bad teachers with the same energy as good ones?

    In response to this nonsense which is completely a slanted rhetorical nonsense.

    Of course the Union, protects it's members, just like the Police Union, Fire Union, that's what they do, but DON'T THINK FOR A SECOND, THAT GOOD TEACHERS, DON'T PUSH administration to remove bad teachers.
    IT'S AN INSIDE THING AND HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

    Good teachers, do not want to have to deal with crap and they get rid of bad ones, nice try with the rhetoric though.........

    Union, is paid for by that teacher, they have legal help as well as all other, they are paid to protect the teachers.

    THAT BEING SAID, the teacher's union is far too weak in every area of the country with the exception of the NE USA, NY, NJ, because Unions are strong down there.

    Teachers in Dade County, 3rd largest in the US, Miami, FL were bilked out of Millions by their union and it's dying down here, not a good thing for anybody. Teachers should have a right to be protected, just like cops, firefighters, dr's, etc... A lot of times, people make things up.

    Parents are notorious when they don't get their way. Teachers do not work for parents, they work for the children and their needs.

    Parents in the US, need to step the F--k up! Turn off the tv, read to your kid, find out what they are doing right and wrong, get involved and stop blaming everyone in the world, get up off your a$$e$ American parents!

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    [QUOTE=Piper;2921112]Are you under the impression that the teachers union is 'all about the kids' as they protect bad teachers with the same energy as good ones?[/QUOTE]

    This is where the public is sorely lacking in knowledge while the FOX's of the world chip away at a noble profession...

    There are bad eggs in every profession. There are 80,000 teachers in NYC alone. There are currently 700 teachers who have been removed from the classroom. Thats less than 1/10th of 1% of the profession.

    Teachers are far better citizens than your average worker, but, because of anti-union politics you would never know it.

    Whats not reported are the 1500 teachers that are physically assaulted every year by student and parents. What's not reported is that 30% of students have immigrant parents or illegal parents and its these students that cannot be taught. Never mind the regular kids who hate academics and wouldl benefit from a vocational education.

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    [QUOTE=SCITSCAT;2921157]
    DON'T THINK FOR A SECOND, THAT GOOD TEACHERS, DON'T PUSH administration to remove bad teachers.
    IT'S AN INSIDE THING AND HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

    Good teachers, do not want to have to deal with crap and they get rid of bad ones

    THAT BEING SAID, the teacher's union is far too weak in most areas of the country

    Teachers should have a right to be protected, just like cops, firefighters, dr's, etc... A lot of times, people make things up.

    Parents are notorious when they don't get their way. Teachers do not work for parents, they work for the children and their needs.

    Parents in the US, need to step the F--k up! Turn off the tv, read to your kid, find out what they are doing right and wrong, get involved and stop blaming everyone in the world, get up off your a$$e$ American parents![/QUOTE]

    :clapper::clapper::clapper::clapper::clapper:

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the union sponsored ad but I don't get my information on education from Fox or any other news outlet. I get it from personal conversations with friends who are teachers as well as everyone I know who has kids in schools all over LI.

    Getting rid of a poor teacher is nearly impossible unless they committ a criminal act. There is little or no accountability for student performance.

    Combine that with the fact that we spend more on education than any other developed nation by far with poorer results and you would have to go along way towards convincing anyone that money is the problem.

    The saddest part is that much of that money doesn't reach the classrooms because of the gravy train at the superintendent/supervisory level.

    So please stop the 'education is bad because of Bush' rant. It is juvenile and ignorant.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=Piper;2921429]
    1) Getting rid of a poor teacher is nearly impossible unless they committ a criminal act.

    2) There is little or no accountability for student performance.

    3) Combine that with the fact that we spend more on education than any other developed nation by far with poorer results

    4) The saddest part is that much of that money doesn't reach the classrooms because of the gravy train at the superintendent/supervisory level.

    5) So please stop the 'education is bad because of Bush' rant. It is juvenile and ignorant.[/QUOTE]

    1) 100% not true. Teachers being sent to "rubber rooms" have gone up by 100% in the past 3 years alone. In my school 5 teachers have been sent to rubber rooms in the past 2 years. Often ineffective teachers are made into ATR's - where they are removed from the classroom and are encouraged to resign. We have 8 ATR's in my school alone! Any student accusation is used to remove teachers. Even if the accusations are made by the worst kid in the school. Most teachers are over 40 yrs old (age discrimination) Currently, all administrators are building "unofficial" portfolios on each and every teacher by using "snapshot observations" where they use a criteria that cannot be met by even the best of teachers. That snapshot can be used against that teacher should tenure ever get recinded or if that teacher is accused of just about anything.

    2) Teachers have stats compiled by their AP's on their classes. Teacher's are blamed for virtually everything in the school and have to demonstrate the use of technology (even if not warranted) & statistics (even if not warranted) where their stats are compared to the next teachers stats. Every teacher is called on the carpet SIX times a year to discuss or defend their stats.

    3) We are in the middle of the pack results wise. Spain and the US are about even. This is a deceiving stat because we have the most diverse country in the world with the third largest youth population. Then factor in the fact that we have the highest divorce and teen pregnancy rate. It's a very deceiving stat.

    4) True!

    5) Bush' "No Child Left Behind" has caused more havoc than ever could be imagined by most who dont teach. It is a backhanded way to achieve a Republican goal of breaking unions in order to tie big business to education (a place where big business does NOT belong!) The entire process is disrespectful towards parents, a punch in the face to teachers who bust their butts tring to get water from a stone with some of their students, and it takes all responsibility of learning off the students shoulders as teachers are pressured to use unwise teaching methods where they become "facilitators" not teachers and hormone-crazed students (insanely) are supposed to learn from EACH OTHER!

    And, I'm only giving you part of this insanity going on right now.
    Last edited by Schroy48; 12-20-2008 at 08:42 PM.

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