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Obama’s Ed Secretary: I Wish I’d Pushed Common Core ‘Even Harder’

Aug 9, 2018 by

Obama’s Ed Secretary: I Wish I’d Pushed Common Core ‘Even Harder’

Photo Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon / public domain

The famously fatuous school leader who continually failed upward says he regrets not re-engineering even more of American life without the input of the American people or their representatives.
By Joy Pullmann –

President Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan published a memoir out Tuesday, in which the famously fatuous school leader who continually failed upward says he regrets not re-engineering even more of American life without the input of the American people or their representatives.

The memoir discusses, in part, the Obama administration’s decision to use an education slush fund from inside the 2008 “stimulus” money Christmas to lure nearly every state to adopt untried, then-unwritten curriculum mandates and tests called Common Core, then rate teachers and schools according to how well they followed these orders from people who almost uniformly had never taught in a K-12 classroom. The predictable result was years of chaos inside American schools and, nearly a decade later, zero improvement in academic outcomes.

But, Duncan says, the real problem was that Americans on both the political Left and Right strenuously objected to his pie-in-the-sky schemes for their kids and money. If he could “do all over again, I would push even harder than we did,” he writes, according to Education Week. This is the lesson the Left is learning from their failures, folks: Citizens are going to protest anyway, so compromise less. This level of arrogance is frightening.

“Each difficult change inevitably would have been punted further down the road, and in the end, nothing would improve,” Duncan writes in “How Schools Work.” “Students would still be short-changed, the country would continue to fall behind its international peers, and there would still be plenty of pushback. For me then, it was all or nothing. (Actually, if I had it to do all over again, I would push even harder than we did; there’s never a ‘right’ time for fundamental change.)”

In the book, say reports, Duncan mostly chalks mass grassroots resistance to the Obama administration’s education policies to “poor communication.” It wasn’t anything wrong with the administration’s agenda, no, just that people simply couldn’t understand it. Of course, the humble and most direct thing to consider would be that Americans understood perfectly, and that’s why they objected. Still, Duncan’s arrogance keeps him mystified about why even Obama allies like teachers unions, albeit late in the game, started opposing Common Core and especially its enforcement, tests.

“These folks [teachers unions], many of whom supported Barack Obama, should have been our natural allies,” he writes in his book, according to The 74. “But because we were miserable at communicating how and why things were happening, and why they were important, it made things worse.”

continued: Obama’s Ed Secretary: I Wish I’d Pushed Common Core ‘Even Harder’

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1 Comment

  1. The federal government needs to get out of elementary and secondary education, especially since its most harmful 21st century innovation, federally mandated, annual testing in two subjects only, remains established in the “Every Student Succeeds” act, the misbegotten successor to the mistake that was “No Child Left Behind”. American families, whenever and wherever possible, should opt out of the federalized state schools and into private ones not subject to the narrow, slow schooling the feds have incentivized with the American people’s money; instead, they should send their children (especially if they are fast learners being held back by one-pace-fits-all government) to education centres whose tuition, exams, and higher admission counselling have the potential to found the colleges and schools we need if we want our children to successfully compete for satisfying careers in the 21st century.

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