If you could look Duncan & Obama in the eyes and ask direct questions, what would you ask?
Marion Brady on EDDRA2 asked, ” If you could look Duncan & Obama in the eyes and ask direct questions, what would you ask?”
Personally, I would try to work up the nerve to ask something like this:
* What in hell do you think you are doing?
* You both went to the ultra-progressive Lab school in Chicago. No weeks and weeks of standardized testing for you. No stultifying, restrictive test-prep curriculum for you, no cutting out art, music, history, science, PE, and so on. Lots of freedom for teachers to teach what they thought was important, regardless of what standardized test mfgrs and textbook publishers thought. Lots of sports, extracurricular activities, and so on. With the sports, the school day probably was quite long. And Mr. President, your kids go to Sidwell Friends, where the situation is similar, and tuition is around $30K per year. What actually gets to the classroom for educating kids in DC public schools is – in my estimation (people differ) – about 1/2 to 1/3 of that. Why on earth do you think that underprivileged kids in the ghettoes, reservations, and so on need anything less than what you, or your kids, got?
* Can you name ANY nation that is systematically pulling down and destroying its public schools and turning them over to private corporations, demonizing its teachers, advocating that the most needy kids get taught by the least-experienced teachers, and testing and retesting its students with idiotic multiple-choice tests the way we are doing in the US and the way that you continue to advocate?
* Did you know that we DON’T have a shortage of US-born, US-trained graduates in STEM fields? What we have, instead, is a shortage or real-life, decent-paying career opportunities for them.
* Did you know that essentially none of the dire predictions of “A Nation at Risk” have come true? (Recall, it was written when you two were in your teens.)
* With a straight face, can you give us any research basis for any of the “reforms” (more like “Deforms”) you and Paige and Spellings and Bush2 are or have been advocating?
* Why are you acting like such Republicans? (Alternative form: Doesn’t it bother you that free-market republicans (and their ilk) who are opposed to public education are so pleased with your platform in education?)
* I voted for you, Obama. But given that you are acting like Bush3 in education, I am beginning to wish I had voted for Nader or someone similar, as a protest vote. Or were part of a well-organized Left.
* Have you no shame? Linda Darling-Hammond or Diane Ravitch should be running the dep’t of ed, not you, Arne. In all of your years in Chicago, despite all your PR, you have NOT changed things.
* It’s the economy, stupid. As long as we have the deep, and deepening gaps we have in the US between the super rich and the poor, we are going to have really serious problems educating the poor.
That’s for starters, and that’s my rant for this week.
Good Questions For Duncan And Obama