Well, that’s taken care of.

Arne Duncan, the head of the Chicago school system will be named Secretary of Education this week.

Seyward Darby at The New Republic notes that Duncan would be more daring than Darling-Hammond, but he’s not the heck-raiser that Michelle Rhee or Joe Klein would be:

It’s a relief for the education reform camp, which sees the appointment of one of its own as a heartening sign of Obama’s education priorities. But, while Duncan is a respected and aggressive change agent, he also appeals to the more traditional Democratic establishment and teachers’ unions.

What Duncan does has huge implications for our work, and for the future of our schools.

The Secretary of Education is 16th in line for Presidential Succession, and is responsible for overseeing the DOE and funding for initiatives like No Child Left Behind and Federal Student Loans.

Duncan has been supportive in the past of alternative certification, charter schools, and high-expectations/high-service interventions.  Chicago is in better shape now than when he came on board.  Let’s see what happens in Washington.


2 Responses to Well, that’s taken care of.

  1. Pavel says:

    In what way are Chicago Public Schools under “better shape”? Certainly not when one looks at the achievement gap.

    • Bobby Cupp says:

      Pavel: Chicago certainly is doing better, even when looking at the achievement gap.
      Better, of course, isn’t the same as great, but better is a real achievement in Chicago. And if you want numbers, “In that time, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards on the Illinois State Achievement Test in reading has risen almost 25 percent, while in math it’s gone up 34 percent. These numbers have improved among students of all backgrounds; black students, for instance, now meet or exceed math standards at a rate of 60 percent, up 33 points since 2001. And the achievement gap between black and white students has shrunk more than eight points in both subject areas. Dropout rates have also declined by eight percent and graduation rates has increased by the same amount.” From Chicago Public Schools via The New Republic.

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