Update 2: video..PEBO Presser Q/A…PEBO selects Chicago School’s ‘CEO’ Arne Duncan to Cabinet..


PEBO Presser and announcement video from CNBC here

Barring the ‘pay the kids off’ idea which I hate, Arne seems very enthusiastic and grateful for the appointment and I am sure he will work hard. My question is in terms of his comments on equality through education, is he focusing there on a class issue? Which I surely agree with or does he mean educational reparations style funding which sounds like an endless series of challenges in every court in the land as well as leaving out dying suburbs in many cases……

If they address it as package socio-economic plan fine. If they target specific areas only based on the type of student population I disagree. I think the first method addresses the second goal.

ie-the method of funding the schools via property tax is problematic and my Supremes here in AZ said it is unconstitutional, however they haven’t figured out how else to fund it so it continues. THAT is the class issue I refer to, the funding in wealthy gated communities which already have magnificent facilities because the tax breaks our local govt gives the developers to build the community comes with mandated school building…

So on the West side of Phoenix they have no science books and in the gated Scottsdale developments they are overfunded( if you could ever have such a thing in schools), but comparatively speaking that is what it is. One school has incredible access to every conceivable tool of learning and exposure to the arts beyond many community colleges, and the other schools have 4th graders who cannot do long addition and no text books…

THAT is imo the inequality…but how do we fix it? Do we fund it on a federal tax level? but then you are potentially hampering states rights and local school boards, as with the money will come the conditions on what, how, when to teach..the age old debate…

Update 4: OMG Reporter asks does PEBO agree with Arnes policy to give 100 bucks to kids who get As, O..M…G…. say no say no! this is their JOB as kids to get good grades! (and it is for parents to chose how/if to reward their academic performance NOT the state IMO) How can you inculcate the value of hard work and good behavior being its own reward if the school is PAYING the students to get better grades? I call BS on that idea out of the gate.

A-Pragmatic, if pay for performance works…then we should explore that..if charter schools work try that..let’s not be clouded by ideology…(PEBO addressed pay for performance on the teacher level but avoided the student question)

Update 3: oh good Gawd, PEBO dispelling rumor says he did not pick Arne cause he’s best bball player, ha ha ha , enough of that!!

Q/A 1-fed reserve lowering to lowest in hx, how confident are you in Bernacke?

A-I dont think its good policy for PEBO or POTUS to question Fed, which is independent, but will say we are running out of traditional methods/tools, int rates about as low as we can go..it is critical other branches of govt step up, that is why econ recovery plan so important, meeting with econ team today to plan bold agenda to create 2.5 mill jobs and fund shovel ready projects, putting people back to work, energy efficient schools, restoring demand, governments all working together…we are going thru toughest time economically since Depression..it’s going to be tough, we have to work through structural difficulties built up over many decades, some having to do with financial industry, lack of regulation (oh Kudlow will LOVE that, lol!!!), housing market stabilizing that…critical for us to look at long term issues I discussed during campaign, healthcare, energy, finally education is important to this…what we do for short term emergency action important…but if we pursue kind of strategy Arne pursued…making no excuses, expecting high achievement from every child, if we can change culture so we are once again valuing intellectual achievement, if we all pull together, making schools better, this will determine how our economy does better…..

Q2 Do you favor or oppose special election to fill your seat? 2, Rahm talk..PEBO cuts him off, as I indicated yesterday…full review done…facts next week….(yada yada) do you have another question?

Q-Is there a conflict b/w what you said would be a hands off approach? PEBO-John I said Im not answering that.

John-what about special election? PEBO-Let state legislature handle it

oh good gawd, John the reporter finished that back n forth with a bball question to make nice!!


Update 2: Arne says no issue is more pressing than education. Arne just said Education is the Civil Rights issue of our generation and the one sure path to a more equal fair and just society.. He seems to feel the deep honor he professes in his heart which is always nice!! Arne says he grew up on the South Side of Chicago under his mother’s tutoring program. DING DING Basketball just got in there :0)

Arne says focusing on basics like reading and math, innovative new approaches, and a professional environment, you can build better schools and attract better teaching talent. (‘best and brightest’ in there again, no one remembers it was originally an insult to Nixon, lol)

They are at a school Arne closed down, restaffed, rebuilt and reopened now, he is thanking his family, very sweet. PEBO is smiling widely and seems genuinely happy I think this is one appointment he wasn’t pressured into making..

PEBO said Arne has lowered dropout rates every year, and improved testing rate by more than 1/3rd on Elementary school assessment tests…

UPDATE:  Tuesday, 11:32am EST: PEBO presser to announce Duncan in 12 minutes, covered LIVE on CNBC when it begins. I am hoping we get some idea of how PEBO plans to address NCLB funding, and the horrendous dropout rates, as well as some possible details of how the planned 1 trillion, (yep that’s the new whisper number) infrastructure buildout in regard to our schools…..

Kudlow on CNBC indicating he has heard that PEBO and his economic team meeting today to plan out ‘massive mortgage buyout’ plan…..”gigantic piece’, something Glen Hubbard wrote about in WSJ a month ago…Diana Swonk says this will help bring down mortgage rates….I will put up a piece on this later as more details come out..HOLC HOLC baby….

And it is 2:22 to the FED Decision which I will post live as it breaks, the more important focus being the statement….

(l-r) Arne Duncan, CEO, Chicago Public Schools Don Michael Randel, President, University of Chicago James Crown, Vice-Chair, University of Chicago Board of Trustees

(l-r) Arne Duncan, CEO, Chicago Public Schools Don Michael Randel, President, University of Chicago James Crown, Vice-Chair, University of Chicago Board of Trustees

PEBO to announce head of Chicago Public Schools as Secretary of Education tomorrow:

…Duncan, 44, is chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, where he has steered one of the nation’s largest school districts since 2001. A graduate of Harvard University, Duncan was raised in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, not far from Obama’s home, and is a longtime friend and basketball partner of Obama’s. Duncan is a former director of Ariel Education Initiative, which creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth in Chicago’s South Side. He began working for Chicago Public Schools in 1998.

Obama plans to introduce Duncan tomorrow morning at Dodge Renaissance Academy, a Chicago elementary school that the two visited together in 2005.

Ugh. 7 YEARS in Chicago and they still have a dropout rate in the 50%-tile? And the shootings and failure of Obama among others to enforce gang related sentences and crime free zones around schools..

..Chicago, the third largest school system, had a 52.2 percent graduation rate. That corresponded with a study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, which reported this year that 54 percent of Chicago public school freshmen receive a diploma…

Well, at least it’s not Linda Darling-Hammond (who talks around reparation through education but how that can be practically achieved while promoting housing desegregation I have no idea..)

It sounds as though certain groups lobbied hard against Darling-Hammond and pushed Duncan..

NYT: …One former Teach for America official who has been outspoken is Whitney Tilson, a New York mutual fund manager.

In a recent blog entry, Mr. Tilson said of Dr. Darling-Hammond, “She’s influential, clever and (while she does her best to hide it) an enemy of genuine reform.”

Mr. Tilson is on the board of Democrats for Education Reform, a political action committee based in New York.

The group sent the Obama transition team a 43-page memorandum shortly after the election with policy advice and a “wish list” of candidates for secretary that included Mr. Duncan; Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America; and Jon Schnur, who started a nonprofit group, New Leaders for New Schools, that trains principals for urban schools, said Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform.

And lest anyone think there was no input from the teachers, think again, also from the NYT piece:

…The American Federation of Teachers presented the Obama team with written evaluations of a string of candidates without endorsing any of them, said Randi Weingarten, the union’s president. “We have no candidate in the race,” Ms. Weingarten said.

But last week she publicly praised Mr. Duncan in an interview with The Associated Press. “Arne Duncan,” she said, “actually reaches out and tries to do things in a collaborative way.”…

But come on! Did this guy profit from that Annenberg Challenge boondoggle?? I think this opens up the ugly, ugly side of Chicago Public School Education and Obama is involved in it with Annenberg.  Seems impolitic on its face and Chicago has had no turnaround in the past 7 years to make it worth the fight IMO…well the teachers and education lobbyists like it and I am really not sure what kind of signal that is anymore (disclaimer, my mother was an English teacher at one time).

The photo above comes from a piece on several scholarship programs funded by the Crown family (of General Dynamics and the former Maytag factory infamy, all the uber-wealthy seem a weird melange of charitable giving and eevil kind of capitalism, what would Freud say..) through Chicago Public Schools and the U of C.

This Chicago system is a huge monster. And get a load of Duncan’s title ‘CEO’, like it is a for profit business.  I fear that is how they run it in Chicago and Gawd knows we don’t want that national.  Hopefully some enterprising ‘journalist’ will do some actual, you know, investigative reporting on Duncan, Crown, the CPS system and the actual results achieved by Duncan…that would hopefully serve to keep pressure on to get real results not the NCLB meaningless scoring and unfunded mandates….


We applaud the University of Chicago and the Crown Family for helping us achieve our goal of presenting varied and rich opportunities to all students,” said Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott.

“The Collegiate Scholars program supports our goal of getting students into top colleges,” said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. “We have very bright students and they deserve to attend the very best universities in the country. I salute the vision of the University of Chicago and the Crown family for this program.”

“My family is thrilled to participate in supporting two profoundly important areas of academic life in Chicago,” said James Crown, Vice Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. “We strongly support the efforts of the Chicago Public School system to provide enrichment and opportunity for motivated students. By paving a pathway to the University of Chicago, the Collegiate Scholars Program will offer high school students a chance to learn from some of the finest professors in the world. A wonderful extension of this relationship is the Chicago scholarship program. This will allow talented students to attend a world class university without any financial pressure or distractions. We hope the combined impact of these two initiatives brings out some of the best in our current school system.”

The Chicago Public Schools Scholarship Program and the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program expand an already strong array of programs that link the University and the public schools. In some of the many programs, University faculty work with Chicago public school students and their teachers to provide additional learning opportunities, the University operates a Charter School in North Kenwood-Oakland, and it provides extensive technology support to twenty nine local schools.

The University of Chicago, one of the nation’s leading research universities, has a faculty of 2,100 and a student body of 4,100 undergraduates and 8,889 graduate and professional students. More than 70 University of Chicago faculty, researchers and alumni have earned Nobel Prizes since the institution was founded in 1890.

The Chicago Public Schools system is the nation’s third-largest school district and the second-largest employer in Illinois, with more than 43,000 employees. The school system operates 600 schools and serves 437,000 students…

December 15, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Department of Education, Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Wall St.


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  3. » Breaking: PEBO selects Chicago School’s ‘CEO’ Arne Duncan to Cabinet.. replied:

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