Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Arne Duncan for Secretary of Education?

Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I'm not exactly sure why Obama chose Arne Duncan as the new Secretary of Education. Now I don't know a whole lot about him but of what I know:

-He has never taught children, or teens, or anyone.
-He has a BA in Sociology.
-He has no teacher or administrative credentials.
-He started a program that paid students to get A's.
-He bribed students to show up on the first day of school with tickets to sports games? For real?!!!

Of course he did get test scores up and increased the graduation rate but I'm pretty sure I could do the same if I paid people to study and gave prizes just for coming to school. But is that really what we want? I know I can get my kids to do a whole lot more chores when enticed by a candy or a sticker. But I'm not sure that's what I want to teach my children.

Now, I usually think Obama a pretty smart guy, but I just have to ask, wasn't there anyone more qualified for the job? Someone who has some understanding of teaching and learning, child development, the history of educational practice and policy and a solid understanding of why bribery cannot be our long term educational goal. I realize there need to be some serious changes to our educational practices. Our system needs an overhaul to get us into the 21st century. For now I'll be putting my trust in President Obama's decision, and if that $4,000 for all A's goes national, I'll be hoping my kids get straight A's for the next 8 years.

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