Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama And Duncan

Highlights from Barack Obama's press conference (pdf) of December 16, 2008 at Dodge Renaissance Academy in Chicago, Illinois:

1) Barack Obama nominates as the next Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools.

2) The President-elect acknowledges "(We) all agree that the Chicago public schools aren't as good as they need to be."

3) The President-elect declares "I can't think of anything more important for America's next Secretary of Education to do than what Arne has been doing all along."

Apparently: Arne Duncan should be Secretary of Education.... Chicago Public Schools are in trouble.... Arne Duncan should do for the country what he has done for Chicago.

The observation of the inadequacy of the schools for which Mr. Duncan has been responsible came in response to the reporter courageous enough to ask (in part) the President-elect:

You yourself have sent your daughters to private schools. What kind of commitment can you make for resources now as president for the public school system? Do you agree with Arne Duncan's proposal of cash incentives, giving kids a- who receive A's and B's perhaps $100?"

The President-elect did not respond to the obvious irony: as a Chicago resident, he did not have enough regard for Mr. Duncan to send his youngsters to the schools he was administering, but now believes he should be in charge of the school system(s) of the entire nation.

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