January 14, 2009
Like millions of Americans, I was thrilled and filled with hope over Barack Obama's victory on election night. I have been a supporter of Mr. Obama since his days in the Illinois Senate. And, in a very small way, as past president of the Chicago Teachers Union, I helped him get his first labor union endorsement when he was running for U.S. Senate, that of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
But though it pains me to have to say this, I cannot support his choice for secretary of education, Arne Duncan.
How can Mr. Duncan be so rewarded for a strategy of giving up on low-performing schools serving primarily low-income children? It is ironic that Duncan is now moving to the Cabinet post when he essentially has admitted that he does not know how to manage low-performing schools. His entire approach has been to close underperforming schools and turn their management over to outside organizations, many with no track records of school reform. Yet during his tenure, the Chicago Public Schools graduation rate remained stubbornly at barely 50 percent.Read the rest here!
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