How Is Barack Obama's Choice for Education Secretary, Arne Duncan?


Reason Foundation education whiz Lisa Snell, writing over at the Foundation's Out of Control blog, sees cause to be optimistic about the Chicago public schools chief.

There are really two reasons to like Duncan. On the one hand Chicago public schools have only shown moderate improvement during Duncan's tenure. On the other hand, Duncan embraces two public school ideas that have the potential to revolutionize public schools in the United States.

First, Duncan is a robust supporter of charter schools. […]

The second reason to like Arne Duncan is that he understands and embraces the idea that per-pupil funding should follow students into schools. Chicago has been experimenting with a pilot weighted student formula-type program under Arne Duncan's seven-year tenure.

Whole thing here. Read Snell's reason archive here.

Speaking of Obama's appointments, I had flung some poo the other week at the reported consideration of L.A. political hack Xavier Becerra as U.S. trade representative, but now it looks like Becerra is withdrawing from consideration.

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  1. [gasp!] Reason found something nice to say about the incoming administration! Cue LoneWacko’s wackiness in 3…2…1…

  2. New York maxxed out on charter schools with 100 statewide. I don’t think the legislature has increased the limit, so unless a charter school fails there will only be the existing 100.

  3. The LA Times link below makes it clear that nominating Becerra would have reminded people of Eric Holder’s mute, inglorious role in the Clinton pardon scandals (most definitely plural).

    Becerra pressed for a sentence commutation for cocaine kingpin Carlos Vignali. Holder passed on the Justice Department’s recommendation against the commutation to the White House, but somehow forgot to sign it. Carlos’ dad paid Hugh Rodham over $200 grand to lobby for the commutation. Money well spent!,0,785432.story

  4. Listen up, reason! There shouldn’t even be a Federal Education Secretary! Hello!

    Besides how can this new guy make America’s children smarter when he goes around making grammatical errors in his first speech?

  5. Is this the guy who said “I” instead of “me” during his speech?

    We really can’t have these anti-English liberals running our schools.

  6. Besides how can this new guy make America’s children smarter when he goes around making grammatical errors in his first speech?

    Barbara Wallraff just (last Sunday?) explained the I/me stuff in her Word Court syndicated column. No excuses allowed.

    How good/bad are the public schools in Chicago? I know they’re better than Detroit, but how do they compare with other large urban districts?

  7. BO’s choice is at least better than Inez Tenenbaum. A woman who has done the impossible: made the South Carolina public schools worse.

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