Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Questions for Arne Duncan - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Five Questions for Arne Duncan - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

Five Questions for Arne Duncan

On Thursday, May 2nd, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be speaking to a luncheon that is part of theEducation Writers' Association seminar at Stanford University. The event is oversold, so although I am attending the conference, I am not going to be at the luncheon. And since I am only a blogger, rather than a "working reporter," I would not be among those allowed to ask questions of the Secretary of Education in any case.
Secretary Duncan will also be speaking at the American Educational Research Association conference in San Francisco on Tuesday at 3:45 pm. Some educators are organizing a protest of his speech.
There are plenty of questions that ought to be asked, and I offer these, in the hopes that perhaps Secretary Duncan might answer them in his speech, or if not, some working reporter might pose them.

Five Questions for Secretary Duncan:

Question One: We saw a list this week of special requests made by you and your wife on behalf of politically powerful people in Chicago who wished that their children might receive special consideration in gaining admission to elite public schools in that city. How does this sort of exercise of privilege comport with your contention that the quality of education one receives ought not to be affected by one's zip code?
Question Two: You began speaking out about the need for greater test security almost two years ago. In recent months we have seen two very different scenarios play out. In Atlanta, dozens are behind bars for conspiracy to cheat. In Washington, DC, there is ample evidence of wrongdoing, but no thorough investigation has been done. Why has your office not demanded a real investigation? Has Michelle Rhee also received special consideration as a result of her political connections?
Question Three: You have long been a proponent of mayoral control of school districts, and the market-based reforms that most big city mayors have pursued. This has been carried out to the hilt in New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago. A recent report points out that the reforms enacted in these cities have not succeeded. Is it time for a reappraisal of mayoral control, and these market-based reforms?

Question Four: The Department of Education has been encouraging the creation of large data systems to