TOTUS wants to cut kids summer break short and extend school hours, calendar..

Is there ANYTHING this Administration will leave alone? Anything? I have had it and we are what 9 months in? Good Grief.


Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.

The president, who has a sixth-grader and a third-grader, wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go.

Gee that would add a lot more government paid jobs union wouldn’t it??

“Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

…Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.

And the best part is they just state falsities as the reason.

“Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,” Duncan told the AP. “I want to just level the playing field.”

While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school.

Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).

Obama and Duncan want to make it LITERALLY A NANNY GOVT. They essentially want to give free ie taxpayer paid daycare:

Aside from improving academic performance, Education Secretary Duncan has a vision of schools as the heart of the community. Duncan, who was Chicago’s schools chief, grew up studying alongside poor kids on the city’s South Side as part of the tutoring program his mother still runs.

“Those hours from 3 o’clock to 7 o’clock are times of high anxiety for parents,” Duncan said. “They want their children safe. Families are working one and two and three jobs now to make ends meet and to keep food on the table.”…

September 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Education, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. 1 comment.

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, on Team Obama College Loan Plans, charter schools, merit pay for teachers…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

…increasing Pell Grants by 94 million over next few years, taking subsidies from banks and giving them to students….He says they will reform FAFSA application for next Fall, that would be an improvement for sure….

Insight on how President Obama’s administration plans to spend a record $5B to transform schools, with Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education.

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April 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Department of Education, Finance, Obama Administration, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

More on Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education..

Dean la Prairie

Arne Duncan and his family take part in the Bud Billiken Day parade. Photo: Dean la Prairie

Education is near and dear to my heart.

If you want to read more on Arne Duncan and how the announcement is being received within and without the education community, please go take a look at an excellent post by Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute.

From Tom’s piece, a quote from the NYT:

He represents a compromise choice in the debate that has divided Democrats in recent months over the proper course for public-school policy after the Bush years.

In June, rival nationwide groups of educators circulated competing educational manifestos, with one group espousing a get-tough policy based on pushing teachers and administrators harder to raise achievement, and another arguing that schools alone could not close the racial achievement gap and urging new investments in school-based health clinics and other social programs to help poor students learn.

Mr. Duncan was the only big-city superintendent to sign both manifestos….

This appointment sounds like a good thing. (I was pulling for the D.C. Schools Chancellor,  Michelle Rhee)..

Read more about this traditional first day of school parade in Chicago from August of 2007,  in Aussie newspaper The Age here:

The head of the public school system, Arne Duncan, worries as much about keeping students alive as lifting standards…


December 16, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Department of Education, Economy, Housing, Immigration, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Wall St. 2 comments.

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 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’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…..


December 15, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Department of Education, Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Wall St. 3 comments.

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