Secretary Duncan will continue the Reformation of Amercian Public Schools. Or, Thank God. It could have been Michelle Rhee

It seems the rumors of Arne Duncan’s departure from the DOE are now confirmed–they were just rumors. Michelle Rhee can continue on her own path of destruction.

According to Michele McNeil,

“In his first major postelection remarks, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that he will use his second term to continue to leverage education improvement at the state and local levels, with a new emphasis on principal preparation and evaluation.”

I have two issues with the above statement.  First, hasn’t the Secretary figured out that the use of crude levers are not great tools when it comes to school “improvement?”  In fact what the hell “improvement” is he talking about?

Students in public schools now spend more time than ever preparing for and taking high stakes tests. Teachers have already been or are about to be evaluated by high stakes test scores using flawed Value Added Methodology. These VAMs will ruin teachers’ reputations and force teachers to stay away from (if possible) the neediest children.  Teacher morale is at an all time low. Public school students receive less instruction in the arts than ever before. And children in our poorest districts are being sent off to charter schools that have no record of being any better than their previous public school and sometimes they are sent to charters that are incredibly worse than their previous public school. Is this really what we now call “improvement?”  I call it FUBAR!

Second, after all the love Duncan has shown teachers, he now wants to f@#k with principals.  Really?  Hasn’t he already destroyed the principal position and turned it into a glorified data manager?  What more can he do to “prepare” principals to stay out of classrooms?

I guess those of us that still wrestle with delusions of a truly progressive and ethical public education system need to recognize as Bon Scott said,  “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.”

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  1. he’s talking about bringing in “principals” from the George Bush programme (goal is 50,000 spread across the country by 2020), a la Broad for supers and school boards and TFA for ‘teachers’….

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