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January 13, 2014

The Problem With Sec. Duncan Playing HR Guru

I like our earnest Secretary of Education. I think he means well. That said, I've had serious reservations about the way he has approached his office, including his approach to Race to the Top, NCLB waivers, and the Common Core. Secretary Duncan has unapologetically and aggressively extended the federal role in education.

December 03, 2012

Tom Friedman's Embarrassing Man-Crush on Sec. Duncan

Many people say nice things about our earnest Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. It's easy to see why, even if one thinks the Obama administration has made its share of mistakes on education. He's a pleasant, even-tempered guy; has comported himself in Chicago and D.C. with class; and has gotten s...

August 11, 2011

The Duncan Precedent, 2013 Edition

The Obama administration steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the problems with ED's "backdoor blueprint" waiver strategy or the ugly precedent that it's trying to set. But those with even a glimmer of imagination can see where this is going... Transcript from Fox News Channel January 13, 2013 Chris...

June 14, 2011

"Waivers" Are Fine...Back-Door Legislating Via "Strings"? Not So Much

There seems to be some confusion about the problem with our earnest Secretary of Education's chest-thumping promise to take things into his own hands if Congress doesn't fix NCLB by August. The problem is not that he's pledging to waive some of the law's goofy provisions. No one is disputing that ...

June 13, 2011

Sec. Duncan Seems to Regard Constitution as so Much Tissue on Bottom of His Shoe

Our earnest Secretary of Education, who famously (and bizarrely) promised Congress a billion-dollar edu-bonus if it reauthorized NCLB by the administration's deadline and to the President's satisfaction, was back at it on Friday. Exhibiting the administration's patented disinterest in the niceties ...

March 04, 2011

Breakfast at Arne's

As Michele McNeil reported, a few of us wandered over to 400 Maryland yesterday morning for croissants and chit-chat with the Secretary of Education. Michele, being the stellar reporter she is, gives a fair rundown of the news of the day. If you're interested in a full account, go read her post. ...

November 18, 2010

Bam! Pow! Whomp! Sec. Duncan Knocks It Out of the Park

Now that was a four-bagger. Lord knows, I've been pretty critical of the Secretary of Education on various counts (see here, here, here... you get the idea). So, let me give him his due. Yesterday, the Secretary weighed in on the pressing need to start spending school dollars smarter in one humdi...

August 26, 2010

Why I'm Feeling Sorry for Sec. Duncan

Since its inception, I've regarded Race to the Top (RTT) as an important and valuable idea, but I also spent much of last fall and winter arguing that the administration's program design was not equal to the weight it was being asked to bear (what with its murky criteria for judge selection, ambiguo...

July 30, 2010

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Supersecretary!

Every time our earnest Secretary of Education speaks of late, he seems to unearth new things that Washington can and should do to schools. Earlier this month, he promised the NAACP that the administration would see that NCLB reauthorization required turnaround schools to obtain parent and community ...

July 22, 2010

"Frog, I Said Stay in that Wheelbarrow!"

This week, over on the National Journal "education experts" blog, we're debating our earnest Secretary of Education's declaration to the NAACP last week that the administration wants a reauthorized NCLB (nee ESEA) to "require parent and community input" in turning around persistently low-performing ...

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The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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