Posts Tagged ‘Arne Duncan
There’s no other way to say it. Arne Duncan is a flat out liar. You can’t say that he “misspoke” or used “misleading” statements. He lied. He lied when he talked about the state of the public school systems in Texas while under the leadership of Governor Rick Perry. He spouted out all kinds of deceitful statistics all for political gain because….the White House is scared of Rick Perry. For example, Arne claims that schools in Texas have suffered “massive increases in class size” while Governor Perry has been in office. That’s a statistic that’s very easily verified….all you have to do is look on the Internet but Arne didn’t bother to check the facts. As it turns out, the class sizes in the Primary grades have remained the same while the class sizes in the secondary grades have actually gone down. Arne didn’t do his homework very well.
All these lies didn’t sit well with the Texas Commissioner of Education, Robert Scott. Mr Scott wrote a letter to Arne expressing his disappointment in him.
Mr. Secretary, I have read your recent comments criticizing Texas public education, and I am disappointed that you have never raised your concerns during any of our personal conversations. If you had, I may have been able to correct any misunderstanding you have about Texas public schools and the efforts of the 333,000 teachers and the 4.8 million students who have been striving to meet increasing standards and graduation requirements.
Your pity is misplaced and demeans the hard work that is taking place in schools across Texas. Texas students are doing very well and in many cases outperforming their national peers. Since you appear to be misinformed about the achievements of Texas educators and students I would ask that you consider the following information:
– In 2009, Texas ranked 7th in a 26 state comparison of the only states reporting four-year on-time graduation rates. That year Texas’ on-time graduation rate was 80.6%. The Texas on-time graduation rate for 2010 is now 84.3%, an amazing 3.7 percentage point increase in a single year on the dropout indicator that you are now requiring all states to report to the Department. – Texas is ranked 13th in Ed Week’s Quality Counts report. Quality Counts gave Texas an “A” in “Standards, Assessment and Accountability,” and an “A” in “Transitions and Alignment” of the Texas system with college and career readiness. This year’s graduating class is the first to graduate under Texas’ required 4×4 graduation requirements (four years of math, science, English language arts and social studies) and we are already seeing great things from the class of 2011.
– The Texas class of 2011 posted a record-high math score on the ACT college entrance exam. The Texas average math score was 21.5 and was higher than the national average of 21.1. ACT scores from 2007 to 2011 showed increases in all four subjects.
– The 2009 NAEP Science results were impressive, as well. Texas’ African American eighth-grade students earned the highest score in the nation and our Hispanic eighth-grade students were eighth. Only eighth-grade students attending the Department of Defense schools scored higher than Texas’ white students who were tied with white students in Massachusetts. On the fourth-grade test, Texas’ African American students out-performed their peers in every state accept Virginia and those students attending Department of Defense Schools. Texas’ fourth-grade white students were ranked third behind only Virginia and Massachusetts.
– We are also a leader in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. Texas has established 59 STEM schools, 7 STEM professional development centers and is a leading state in creating a national STEM network of states that want to pursue STEM education reform. Texas’ STEM reform began in 2005, long before your administration decided to model this and other aspects of your reform agenda on the efforts that have been taking place in Texas for nearly a decade.
Finally, I’m not sure where you are getting your information regarding class sizes in Texas public schools. Texas is experiencing a four-year trend of class sizes getting smaller across the board in both elementary grades and in core subjects in high school. If you would like to see the actual data, I would be more than happy to provide it for you.
As you can see, Texas has a strong record, and I am proud of the accomplishments of Texas educators and students. It is clear that they have risen to the challenge of higher standards and expectations placed before them.
Rather than simply talking about education reform, Texas policy makers, educators and students have delivered. I look forward to seeing the student performance results of your efforts to centralize more control of public education in Washington, D.C.
Commissioner of Education
It’s outrageous that someone with as much power as Arne Duncan uses his position to try to smear one of Obama’s rivals. I guess that no one should be surprised by this and I’m sure this won’t be the last time an Obama goon lies in order save their boss.
I believe Arne owes Governor Perry and Texas an apology.
Fat chance that will happen.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, one of the Chicagoans brought to Washington for “The Golden Age of Hope and Change” (aka, “The Unmitigated Disaster of Unprecedented Proportions”), said recently that “the best thing to ever happen to the school system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina”.
New Orleans public schools were terrible before Katrina. Post-disaster, they were rebuilt from the ground up, along a charter school model that’s already showing great progress.
But, Duncan ran Chicago’s public schools, and those are terrible. Liberals control Chicago, and thus the schools. So, why aren’t Chicago public schools doing better? We must need more hurricanes.
While we’re on the topic, why are the public schools in every Liberal-controlled city that we can think of so terrible? Cleveland Public schools were at one time ranked the worst in the world. Worst in the known universe, to be technical. To this day, they need a hurricane, or at least a plague of locusts or a shower of toads, to make them adequate, because it’s unimaginable anything on Earth could make them good.
Why is everything that’s Liberal-controlled always so terrible?
What does that say about Liberalism, that the massive destructive power of a hurricane actually makes things Liberals control BETTER?
Believe it or not, the most bizarre thing to happen in Chicago for a while has nothing even remotely to do with Governor Rod Blagojevich or his three ring circus of an impeachment trial – it was Mayor Daley’s appointment of Ron Huberman to head up Chicago Public Schools.
For those of you not from Chicago, Huberman’s the new Obama around here (Obama Part Deux, as we call him) — a man beloved by the Chicago political machine, and Mayor Daley personally, who has been pushed up through the ranks at breakneck speed, regardless of his actual accomplishments or abilities, mainly because of his look, style, and telegenic image.
He is Mayor Daley’s chosen successor when our imperial mayor decides to step down from office, after the 2016 Olympics (which will be Daley’s personal triumphe and swansong). It’s been clear for some time that Daley wants Huberman to be our next Mayor, running in 2018 after Daley retires as the longest-serving Mayor Chicago’s ever seen.
Thus, Huberman is Daley’s personal pet project, regardless of his ability to actually deliver on any of his promises. He’s openly gay (and very often seen at Sidetrack here in Boystown), biracial, a former beat cop, and until yesterday, the head of Chicago’s failing transit system, the CTA.
Not that he did anything to improve the CTA in the last two years, and leaves it deeper in debt and further up the creek without paddles than he found it.
Two years ago, without having any experience with major transportation systems, Da Mayor appointed Huberman head of an agency crippled with disintegrating infrastructure, lazy employees, massive budget shortfalls, and probably the greatest source of graft and corruption in a 50-mile radius of Chicagoland.
Part of that graft is the $900 million+ mythical “transportation hub” Daley’s buried underneathe Block 37’s new eyesore development in the heart of the Loop: it’s basically a pharaoh’s tomb of wasted riches, an enormous unusable train station hundreds of feet below street level, without access to trains, sealed off indefinitely until billions in federal funding can be pumped into Chicago to dig monstrous tunnels below the watertable that reach out to both O’Hare and Midway (soon to be Barack H. Obama International Airport). This is Daley’s unrealistic dream of building privately-contracted Japanese-style bullet trains to race nonstop from both airports to this “transportation hub” in the center of the city, bringing people from both airports to the Loop in 12 minutes (instead of 45-75 minutes or so, depending on delays) for about $15 a ride. November 4th was a very good day for Daley, as an Obama Administration means stimulus funds will most likely be sunk into this, as it greatly helps Chicago’s Olympics bid.
Installing loyalist Huberman at CTA was a move by Daley to keep the real costs of the Block 37 transportation hub underwraps, while doing whatever else Daley wanted, no questions asked. Huberman was promoted to high positions not because he is the most qualified, but like Obama before him, because his biography is “inspirational”: Huberman went to the University of Chicago part-time at night while working as a Chicago cop to get his MBA. He is a bright and attractive biracial gay man, who by nature of his appointment to any agency, brings diversity on many levels to a classicly image-conscience city. Mayor Daley is a showman, and knows full well that his own gruff persona needs a slick, attractive, puppet like Huberman carrying out his orders.
But putting a man with no education background, who was never even a substitute teacher or reading tutor, let alone expert in school management or professional education, in charge of one of the largest failing school systems in the country is madness, even for Daley.
There are worse choices to head Chicago’s public schools. Barbara Bird Bennett, the administrative disgrace who drove Cleveland’s public schools into the ground for seven years, comes immediately to mind. Huberman is definitely not on that scale of willful ineptitude and gleeful corruption, but he’s completely out of his element handling the hydra of titanic problems facing Chicago’s schools.
And Huberman’s replacing Arne Duncan, who Obama elevated to Secretary of Education, despite his poor performance here with Chicago’s schools. So, in essence, like with a lot of things, Chicago’s problems are now the nation’s, as things on the ground here in the Windy City get worse than they were before.
Unlike the CTA, though, which the media here largely ignores and everyone accepts as unmanageable and hopeless, people are emotionally invested in public schools because of the children they serve. Who have parents…who are upset today someone uncertified to even teach in a school and unqualified to be a principal of one is now in charge of ALL of them.
Daley was very smart to make this appointment this week, with all eyes on Blagojevich, thus limiting the news coverage of the appointment. While Huberman’s tossing back Pilsners at Sidetrack celebrating his new job, we wonder just how bad the school system will get under a charismatic, attractive, machine-backed man who wants to bring his own special blend of hope and change to a failing system (just like the hope and change he didn’t bring to the CTA, though he promised everyone lemonade and pixie dust).