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Obama chooses education secretary

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Oooo....

This one is a stinker. Duncan isn't an educator, he's a lawyer. I don't get this one at all. Professor Linda Darling-Hammond is on his transition team and she's a very well-respected educator.

Nope. Don't like this one at all.

Taka

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Taka its change..

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-still better than the terrorist Ayers.

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Taka313,

I get your point, but I don't think the job of the education secretary is to be an educator. I think it is to understand the challenges of educating young people on a limited budget, to grasp the needs of educators, students, parents and the society and to be a capable administrator and an able advocate for funds. Just as a hospital administrator does not need to be a doctor, I don't see why the education secretary needs to be an educator.

I do, however, see Obama drawing rather heavily on Chicago and I don't doubt that there are better choices. Nonetheless, since Duncan seems to have experience in school system administration he should grasp the needs (or at least have his own conception of them) of the various parties and understand at least some of the challenges of funding for them. I don't know about his administrative ability, but, generally speaking, good attorneys have to have good administrative skills.

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Well he was going to have the Governor of Ill. be the guy but something else came up first (like jail time). LMAO

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Sez,

Arne Duncan is a "teach to the test" type. That's how he handled education in Illinois. I don't support that educational model and that's why I don't approve of his selection.

Also, Darling-Hammond has also proven herself as being a very good administrator. That's why I really think President-elect Obama missed the boat on this one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Darling-Hammond#Candidacy_for_Secretary_of_Education

Taka

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"Duncan, a long-time friend of Obama and a former professional basketball player"

I'd like to see a one-on-one basketball game between Duncan and Sarah Palin.

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sarge: Who is Sarah Palin? Sounds like a no one to me.

Badsey: "-still better than the terrorist Ayers"

and MUCH better than the terrorist bush or the guys HE chose. We all know the disaster bush made of education that needs to be cleaned up. Any choice after bush's choices is a step in the right direction.

I agree with Taka, though... not the best choice. Could be worse (8 or 4 years ago), but could also be a lot better.

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How does the school system in Chicago compare with others?

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Please refrain from calling GW Bush a terrorist. An "errorist" perhaps....

Hearing all this talk about Obama putting his "team" together brings back memories of GW at the start of his term. Remember the terms "compassionate conversatism" and "no child left behind." What a mess. Education is another another area in which GW fundamentally failed the population.

Then again, for all his mistakes, GW did have the economy, until the lack of oversight brought things to a crashing halt.

Anyway, I hope the new cabinet and the new President will start to put things right.

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"Education is another another area in which GW fundamentally failed the population."

And you know this because what? - you live in the US?

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As far as a working education system.. umm yea ok what president has provided a good model so far?

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"the disaster bush made of education"

What is this disaster you speak of, smith? Heck, the federal government is spending more on education than ever before.

"not the best choice... could also be a lot better"

McCain would have made a better choice for Education Secretary. Oh, well.

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Being from Chicago, and seeing the state of Chicago schools, this was not the best choice. Actually one of the reasons my wife and I moved to Japan, give our daughter and international education, and the international schools in Nagoya are some of the best in Japan.

Chicago still scores near the bottom of school districts in the USA for scholastic achievement, but is always near the top for drop out rates. Duncan improved none of these during his watch.

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The quality of education in the US has been inversely proportional to the amount of funding for the Department of Education. I'd say it's time to get the federal government out of the education business.

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Taka313,

I agree with you about the poverty of "teaching to the test" if we are talking about liberal education. However, as a practical matter, I think tests are generally designed to determine competence with respect to solving the types of problems that we know will need to be solved. I think this is true whether you are a doctor, a surveyor or even a register operator at Walmart.

My understanding is that changes made during the last 8 years require schools to show improvement or else lose funding. In that kind of environment it is important to show positive results and I think the only way to achieve that in a short period of time is to teach to the test. A school system administrator who failed to do that could, especially in a large system like Chicago's, be seen as being irresponsible.

I think there are many problems with the Bush-era funding requirements, but whatever the game is people still have to play it. I would rather that Americans could appreciate the value of a University of Chicago style education. However, I think we may still be mired in the problem of teaching people how to balance their checkbooks.

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Sez, What you are saying about teaching to the test is good in theory, but what I'm seeing here, at least where I live, is that the test is the only thing taught and in many places, in order to assure continued funding, the bar for success has become somewhat "fluid."

Taka

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Taka313,

I agree that if the test is the only thing being taught, that's a bad thing. And what you say about the bar for success being fluid is what has many educators tearing their hair out.

If you are saying that Duncan believes this is OK, then I would agree with you about the inappropriateness of selecting him. I guess what I am saying is that I don't know if Duncan believes in teaching to the test as an educational principle or whether he believes in it as a financial necessity in a larger structure in which he has no input.

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sarge: "What is this disaster you speak of, smith? Heck, the federal government is spending more on education than ever before."

Simply throwing money at a problem does not ensure its solution, my boy. The fact of the matter is that, regardless of spending, the 'no child left behind' initiative by bush and co. failed miserably, and a whole lot MORE children got left behind. Heck, even Helter_Skelter admits the amount of money being dumped into education isn't helping.

Anyway, I agree with timorborder's sentiments in hoping things improve with Obama. Again, they can't get any worse than what Americans have had for 8 years, but it's going to be a long road to repair the damage.

TooFarGone: "And you know this because what? - you live in the US?"

Clearly, you don't have to be American to know more about the country's system and politics than many Americans do. In fact, you guys are often too close to the source to be objective, and need a little reminder from time to time of how things really are.

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I see Obama was chosen as Time's Person of 2008. Time says "In one of the craziest elections in American history..."

I agree. In fact it was so crazy, Obama ended up being elected.

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smith... Just because ONE education program hasn't worked out perfectly doesn't mean the American education system is a "disaster." If it were, we wouldn't have all these foreigners trying to get into our schools here.

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sarge: "smith... Just because ONE education program hasn't worked out perfectly doesn't mean the American education system is a "disaster." If it were, we wouldn't have all these foreigners trying to get into our schools here."

True, but remember the other day your examples of 'ONE' usually mean quite a few; like the ONE guy you said didn't like bush because he threw his shoes, and ended up being millions around the world who didn't like him and heroized the shoe-tosser! But that's beside the point.

Again, though, just because the American education system is better than Djibouti's -- it actually might not be, but I'm not sure -- doesn't mean it's not a disaster. Naturally, if it's better than said African nation's (you'll notice Africa here is the continent, not a certain politician's country), people from said nation will try to go there for a better education than what they have. Again, doesn't mean the US system isn't in disarray, and that disarray is in part due to bush's failures.

Obama will make it right for you, though... or at least, he'll make it better.

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Smith said:

True, but remember the other day your examples of 'ONE' usually mean quite a few; like the ONE guy you said didn't like bush because he threw his shoes, and ended up being millions around the world who didn't like him and heroized the shoe-tosser! But that's beside the point.

Not beside the point at all. One bad school in the United States does indeed, reflect many, many others around the country. I've seen my fair share of awfullness myself, so it does not need to be proven to me. Nevertheless, seeing "ONE" good school that draws the envy and attendance of foreingers from around the world reflect several others like it around the country. I'd expect the educational system of the strongest nation in the world to rank higher than 18th, but I have to acknowledge that here, I'm seeing your persnickety reprobations being farther off the mark than usual. The U.S. isn't the best, but it certainly doesn't deserve for you to try to drag it to the bottom.

I'm hopeful that Obama's Administration will help stop the slippage as well.

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smith: In fact, you guys are often too close to the source to be objective, and need a little reminder from time to time of how things really are.

We can always count on our Canadian brothers to give Americans objective opinions about our country. LOL!

Please smith...don't even bother trying to respond. You aren't who you claim to be by any stretch of the imagination. You can fool yourself but even those who might agree with your anti-Bush rhetoric will roll their eyes if you even attempt to try to convince us that you're objective about the United States. You aren't. End of discussion.

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heh smith do you have any opinion about Duncan besides the fact that he wasn't chosen by Bush and Bush is horrible and there's no proof the US isn't the worst and Obama will make it better?

Here's some information about Duncan's track record:

http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/news/index.php?item=2514&cat=5

This is a pretty good article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-obama-duncandec16,0,1498557.story?page=1

Looks like he's somewhat of a compromise candidate. He's tried a few changes, some being hit and miss. But most people give him credit for trying. Overall graduation rates have improved, but he's also closed some poorly performing schools in favor of charter programs only to find that the students from the closed schools aren't going to better ones, they're just going to other schools in the system that aren't doing much better overall.

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