The Business Roundtable-Omama-Duncan Education Legacy in Chicago
For Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago school system, "school reform isn't just a theory in a book -- it's the cause of his life," President-elect Obama said in announcing Arne Duncan as his choice for Secretary of Education, press release ,Dec. 16, 2008
Mr. Duncan, a 44-year-old Harvard graduate, has raised achievement in the nation's third-largest school district and often faced the ticklish challenge of shuttering failing schools and replacing ineffective teachers, usually with improved results.--Sam Dillon, New York Times, Dec. 16, 2008
"Obama found the sweet spot with Arne Duncan," said Susan Traiman, director of educational policy at the Business Roundtable, New York Times ,December 16, 2008.
Chicago's school system is currently the most militarized  in the country, boasting five military academies, nearly three dozen smaller Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs within existing high schools, and numerous middle school Junior ROTC programs. More troubling yet, the military academies he's started are nearly all located in low-income, minority neighborhoods. This merging of military training and education naturally raises concerns about whether such academies will be not just education centers, but recruitment centers as well.--Andy Kroll, "The Duncan Doctrine: The Military-Corporate Legacy of the New Secretary of Education," TomDispatch.com, Jan. 18, 2009
Don't forget: Duncan ed policy = Obama ed policy = corporate ed policy. It's the Business Roundtable Sweet Spot (see below).
The Duncan timeline isn't his invention but a reflection of what he's told to do:
See Greg Toppo, Chicago schools report contradicts Obama and Duncan, USA Today, July 12, 2009
While he was Chief Executive Officer of Chicago's 400,000-student public school system, Duncan subjected more than a dozen schools to "turnaround," including six high schools (although in some cases it was not yet called "turnaround"). At all of those schools, the majority of teachers were fired, and replaced with a cadre of teachers who had supposedly been trained in "turnaround" methods.--George N. Schmidt, "At huge Chicago City Hall press conference... Duncan lies about impact of "turnaround" on Chicago's Fenger High School," Substance News, Oct. 7, 2009
Duncan children move back to Chicago-- to attend the private University of Chicago Lab School, Valerie Strauss, , Education Secretary Duncan's Children to Go go Chicago Private School
, Washington Post
, July 9, 2015
compiled by Susan Ohanian