Arne Duncan's Glass School House
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, now hurling stones at Texas Governor Perry by attacking Texas schools, once lived in a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) glass school house.
According to TPM (talkingpointsmemo.com):
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is taking a rhetorical shot at one of President Obama's possible election opponents, slamming the education system in Gov. Rick Perry's home state of Texas. "Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college," Duncan said on Bloomberg Television. "I feel very, very badly for the children there."
"You have seen massive increases in class size," Duncan also added. "You've seen cutbacks in funding. It doesn't serve the children well. It doesn't serve the state well. It doesn't serve the state's economy well. And ultimately it hurts the country."
Arne forgets that his record as head of CPS (2001-2009) is, at best, mixed. Back on December 29, 2009, in a Washington Post article, Nick Anderson wrote:
Soon after Arne Duncan left his job as schools chief here to become one of the most powerful U.S. education secretaries ever, his former students sat for federal achievement tests. This month, the mathematics report card was delivered: Chicago trailed several cities in performance and progress made over six years.
Miami, Houston and New York had higher scores than Chicago on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Boston, San Diego and Atlanta had bigger gains. Even fourth-graders in the much-maligned D.C. schools improved nearly twice as much since 2003.
The federal readout is just one measure of Duncan's record as chief executive of the nation's third-largest system. Others show advances on various fronts. But the new math scores signal that Chicago is nowhere near the head of the pack in urban school improvement, even though Duncan often cites the successes of his tenure as he crusades to fix public education.
"Chicago is not the story of an education miracle," said Chester E. Finn Jr. of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank in Washington.
The WaPo piece also noted that,
[Q]uestions have arisen this year about the magnitude of Duncan's accomplishments. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which represents business, professional, education and cultural leaders, concluded in June that gains on state test scores were inflated when Illinois relaxed passing standards and that too many students still drop out of high school or graduate unprepared for college. The Consortium on Chicago School Research, a nonpartisan group at the University of Chicago, reported in October that Duncan's closure of low-performing schools often shuffled students into comparable schools, yielding little or no academic benefit.
Arne's tenure as Chief Executive Officer of CPS is also noteworthy for his highly visible support for a "charity" now under investigation by the Office of Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General. The organization, Save A Life Foundation (SALF), received checks, signed by Arne himself, totaling $49,000 in payment for first aid training allegedly delivered to CPS students by SALF. Unfortunately, no records exist of that training ever having been delivered.
A Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request, submitted by Peter M. Heimlich (whose father's "Heimlich Maneuver" was alleged taught to thousands of CPS students) requesting documentation concerning the alleged training, yielded this response:
Subject: RE: FOIA request, 4/29/11
From: "Daniels, Cassandra D"
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2011 12:00:20 -0500
To: "Peter M. Heimlich"
Mr. Heimlich: The Chicago Public Schools does not have any responsive documents to your April 29, 2011 request. The schools who received training from the Save A Life Foundation were selected by members of the former CPS Chief Education Officer's Office. I apologize for the delay in response. I sent a response via email in early May. Thank you for your interest in Chicago Public Schools.
Cassandra D. Daniels
For more complete coverage of Arne's involvement in what appears to have been a phantom training program for CPS students, see these two articles in a website dedicated to exposing the Save A Life Foundation story: here and here.
The Illinois Attorney General's Office began an investigation into SALF after receiving reports that the organization failed to report having received $853,709 in state and federal grant monies, as first reported on the American Thinker.
So, Arne, put that rock down, and tell us what the fifty grand was for.