Politico: Arne Duncan’s Ambitious Agenda Hits Speed Bumps

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephanie Simon describes the political minefields that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has run into as he seeks to remake American education.

She does not mention that Duncan’s program dovetails with No Child Left Behind, which is now widely acknowledged to be a failed approach.

Nor does she mention that Duncan’s tenure in Chicago, where he honed his present ideas about reform, was unsuccessful.

Duncan is generously praised by the hedge fund managers’ group Democrats for Education Reform.

But critics call him out for micromanagement:

Critics, however, say his strategies have been shortsighted, even naive. States are backing away from promises they made to secure grants and waivers; just this month, Arkansas said it couldn’t stick to its timetable for improving student performance or raising the quality of its teaching force. In most cases, the secretary has little leverage to make states uphold their pledges. In a ritual that strikes…

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