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First Reactions on Barack Obama's Post for Education Secretary

We've been following the selection of Secretary of Education during these weeks and today the outcomes are visible for all to see. Traditional media is writing a great deal of stuff on the new nominee.

We were expecting president-elect picks to this position a career educator but it seem we got all wrong. In place, he selected a buddy of yours and an attorney as professional. While results are expected to come after Senate confirms Arne Duncan, NPR(National Public Radio)says his nomination "is expected to be well-received among many educators as well as the 1.4 million-strong American Federation of Teachers."

We are fond of AllThingsConsidered and today, they aired an interview of Chester Fin, Jr.,who offers his insights on the appointment. He said the post of Mr. Duncan is "a little bit mistified" and talking about Duncan's Chicago Schools' experience he added, results are "modest but positive". The problem is Mr. Duncan doesn't have a lot of 'Washington experience"

Details of what other people is writing on Obama's pick for Secretary of Education, are here. It's completely visible that not all are welcoming Obama's basketball buddy from Hyde Park:

Steve Diamond is a law professor and this is what he thinks of his colleague Arne Duncan:

Education Secretary-nominee Arne Duncan is seen by most as far more interested in privatization of schools than tackling the deep set social and economic context which creates the "achievement gap" in America.

David Boaz of Cato @ Liberty states that he doesn't know much about Arne Duncan but stress this:

In seven years running the Chicago public schools, this longtime friend of Obama was apparently not able to produce a single public school that Obama considered good enough for his own children.

Sarah Karp looks into Duncan's track record and among other thinks she points out:

...Little has been done to shed light on district spending decisions, particularly construction and renovation budgets. CPS continues to gather input on capital needs through public meetings, but it has not laid out a clear spending strategy nor has it ranked renovation priorities from school to school. Community groups have long demanded, in vain, for just such a plan.

Still one of the most respected journalist joins in and drops a bomb to Democrats. "You may have won the election, but you're getting CREAMED in the transition", writes G. Palast, and he explains why is so horrified of:

The ill philosophy behind the Bush-brand education theories Duncan promotes, "Teach-to-the-Test," forces teachers to limit classroom time to pounding in rote low-end skills, easily measured on standardized tests. The transparent purpose is to create a future class of worker-drones. Add in some computer training and - voila! - millions of lower-income kids are trained on the cheap to function, not think.

We haven't see much of these critics on the other nomination, but this one, where -as Palast put it, in no other cabinet department is the lack of expertise, lack of accomplishment, lack of a degree in the field found acceptable but in Education.

Is Mr. Duncan a truly reformer? Is Arne Duncan, the candidate whose selection would bring about real change or is he a bad decision?


Trutout needs your help. Check as well, its Obama's Betrayal of Public Education? Arne Duncan and the Corporate Model of Schooling

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