Duncan Faces Political Battle Over Education Reform – ABC News

Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan nominated to be education secretary by Obama

Duncan Has Ear of Basketball Buddy President

Once a professional basketball player, the 6-foot-5-inch cabinet secretary also has the ear of President Barack Obama, a personal friend and long-time pick-up basketball buddy.

“We’ve played a few times since we’ve been here, haven’t played a ton,” Duncan said of the president. “We’ve both been a little bit busy.”

Since arriving in Washington, Duncan has been on the road one or two days a week, visiting schools and colleges and meeting with students, principals and teachers.

“The solutions are never going to come from Washington,” Duncan said. “So when I go out, I’m not just listening to the problems; I’m really challenging folks to come up and tell us the answers.”

This fall, Duncan, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rev. Al Sharpton will embark on a five-city tour to raise awareness of the achievement gap between white and minority students.

“The gap is absolutely, morally unacceptable,” Duncan said. Planning is in the early stages and no dates or places have been decided, he said.

Watered Down State Proficiency Standards

Making an end run around the Bush administration’s controversial No Child Left Behind law, Duncan has argued many states and districts aren’t using data to reward good teachers and some states have watered down their proficiency standards so students and parents believe they are doing much better than they are.

Despite the problems, Duncan, a former Chicago schools chief, insists the states are ready for education reform.

Read the Entire Article: Duncan Faces Political Battle Over Education Reform – ABC News

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Posted on June 20, 2009, in Education, USA. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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