Obama's Education Secretary returns to the scene of his crime

Bill Tate
When Barack Obama slithered out of the swamp of Chicago politics, he brought a lot of his buddies with him. One of them, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, returned to the Second City on Wednesday to examine a spike in youth violence: an outbreak that many blame on Duncan.

Duncan and Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, were dispatched following the beating death of a Chicago high school student--or, more importantly to Obama's PR-conscious handlers, once the beating of the 16 year-old honor student became widely viewed on the internet.

Duncan's policies while he was CEO of the Chicago public schools, though, may have played a major role in this and other incidents of youth violence there. Two years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Duncan's Renaissance 2010 program "send(s) students to schools outside their neighborhood, often crossing gang lines, leading to increased violence and discipline problems."

Critics also contend that Duncan's programs have led to a widening achievement gap between black students and other ethnic groups.

Yet Obama thought Duncan had done such a good job that he appointed Duncan as his Education Secretary; now Obama has dispatched Duncan to be the public face of his administration's response to Chicago school violence, violence for which Duncan's own policies may be responsible.
When Barack Obama slithered out of the swamp of Chicago politics, he brought a lot of his buddies with him. One of them, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, returned to the Second City on Wednesday to examine a spike in youth violence: an outbreak that many blame on Duncan.

Duncan and Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, were dispatched following the beating death of a Chicago high school student--or, more importantly to Obama's PR-conscious handlers, once the beating of the 16 year-old honor student became widely viewed on the internet.

Duncan's policies while he was CEO of the Chicago public schools, though, may have played a major role in this and other incidents of youth violence there. Two years ago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Duncan's Renaissance 2010 program "send(s) students to schools outside their neighborhood, often crossing gang lines, leading to increased violence and discipline problems."

Critics also contend that Duncan's programs have led to a widening achievement gap between black students and other ethnic groups.

Yet Obama thought Duncan had done such a good job that he appointed Duncan as his Education Secretary; now Obama has dispatched Duncan to be the public face of his administration's response to Chicago school violence, violence for which Duncan's own policies may be responsible.