Saturday, January 25, 2014

For Arne Duncan, the Buck Stops Over There - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

For Arne Duncan, the Buck Stops Over There - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

For Arne Duncan, the Buck Stops Over There

Guest post by Jake Cooper.

President Truman famously kept a sign in the oval office that read, "The buck stops here." Leadership leads, in large part, by owning the outcomes of its actions both good and bad, and by directly accepting the blame for failures of its oversight. 
That's what leaders do. It isn't what politicians do. Politicians instead find someone else to blame. Leaders are chiefly concerned about successfully accomplishing the tasks entrusted to them; politicians are chiefly concerned with selling themselves to the public and maintaining their position. Leaders get things done; politicians market their own image, preened to perfection by dancing around challenges that a leader would confront head-on.
Our current US secretary of education, sadly, has shown little capacity to accept blame or take criticism for much of anything, but is a master of deflection. With Arne Duncan, time and again, the buck stops not here, but over there.
When it comes to education in the United States, the problem is, according to Mr. Duncan, "white suburban moms" who think their kids are smarter than they truly are. These silly women just don't know enough to be as concerned as they ought to be about their kids' brainpower. The problem, too, is career educators who have spent their careers lying to children and the public by not letting everyone know how dumb kids really are, in a callous and calculated effort to conceal the truth