Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pros and Cons of Arne Duncan

A rundown of his record in Chicago from Alexander Russo:

"Strengths: ▪ Lasted seven years -- a lot longer than many predicted. ▪ State test scores have increased every year Duncan has been in office, according to the board of education. ▪ Duncan has by all accounts improved tremendously as a public speaker. ▪ Sends his daughter to a local public school. ▪ Strong supporter of community schools. ▪ Early critic of NCLB testing, tutoring, and transfer requirements ▪ Chicago participates in Roland Fryer "learn to earn" program. ▪ Tall, skinny, and with a funny name -- just like his soon-to-be-boss! ▪ Has more gray in his hair than it seems from this AP pic.

Weaknesses: ▪ Chicago has never been a finalist for the Broad education prize for urban school reform. ▪ Chicago ’s NAEP scores lag many other big city districts, according to TUDA. ▪ Failed to win substantial concessions from the Chicago Teachers Union in the last contract. ▪ Failed to expand the highly restrictive charter school cap for Chicago (30) . ▪ Renaissance 2010 disrupted the education of thousands of students in the early years esp. ▪ Duncan ’s reform efforts have failed to attract (or retain) white and middle-class families. ▪ Criticized by Blagojevich for only having offered free school bus rides in exchange for the Senate seat."

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