Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Good Case for the Arne Duncan Pick

The Washington Post gives their support to Arne Duncan. The first two paragraphs essentially summarize my own ideas for why I am supportive of the Duncan pick, as of right now:

"IT WAS WIDELY expected that President-elect Barack Obama's choice of an education secretary would finally reveal which of the warring approaches to school reform he favors. Instead, his selection of Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan cheered both the disrupters and the incrementalists of education change. That could be a good sign for America's schools -- if Mr. Duncan is able to unite the two sides in support of meaningful improvements.

"In announcing his nomination of Mr. Duncan, Mr. Obama rejected the notion that there must be an either-or approach to making schools better. Both sides, he said, have good ideas and intentions, and he held out Mr. Duncan as someone not beholden to one ideology but capable of creating a new vision for the country's education system."

I have generally fallen on the Linda Darling-Hammond side of the Education Secretary debate (as opposed to the Michelle Rhee side). However, the more I think about it, the more I like the Arne Duncan pick because he really is a decent consensus candidate. He shows that people who aren't gung-ho reformistas in the school reform debate can still work to reform our public schools. Duncan has a lot to work on, so don't expect any miracles. But at the end of the day, Duncan is a high quality choice who seems very capable of handling the job.

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