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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Wed Aug 08th 2012, 11:22 PM
In my mind Chris Christie of New Jersey is just plain rude, and he is especially obnoxious toward teachers. Arne's words here are an indication he has heard nothing teachers have said. He is ignoring those in education and pandering to the business world.

From the NJ Star Ledger:

Arne Duncan: Better education starts with best educators

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesEducation Secretary Arne Duncan is pictured in this file photo. He spoke with Star-Ledger editorial page editor Tom Moran about school reform.

Education is the one policy area in which Democrats and Republicans are finding an abundance of common ground, where President Obama and Gov. Chris Christie agree on most issues.

Both favor tenure reform that allows schools to fire bad teachers and reward good ones. Both believe student performance should be central to that assessment and that standardized tests should be used to help measure progress. Both believe in expanding charter schools, especially in failing districts, and closing down persistently failing schools.

And he admits to spending hundreds of millions on standardized tests that are not so good because he doesn't want to "let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

I hate that term. For too long our party has used that "enemy of the good" foolishness as an excuse for doing things that are not proven to work. I despise that policy.

Q. But doesnít this whole movement to raise standards and impose accountability hinge on having good tests? Iím not sure we have that.

A. Itís never going to be perfect. Weíre investing $350 million in the next generation of assessment, so itís going to be a choppy couple of years until we get there. We always let the perfect be the enemy of the good in education, and we have to stop that.

Diane Ravitch had more to say on this statement at her blog.

Arne Duncan says...

Here is the latest interview with the Secretary of Education. It begins with a stomach-turning but accurate admission that education is the one thing that President Obama and the teacher-bashing governor of New Jersey Chris Christie agree on. Howís that for a reassuring opening?

When asked why the evidence for the reforms he is pushing seems weak, Duncan replies it is because they are new and therefore donít have a 50-year track record. Oh, please, they donít have any track record at all, yet he is pushing these untested, invalid measures on schools across the nation. Of course, everyone wants great teachers and great principals and great schools, but nothing he is doing is producing those results.

The questioner gently asks why there were no ďdramaticĒ improvements in New York City or Washington, D.C. or Chicago, where Duncan was in charge for eight years. The answer is so vague as to be indecipherable. Ten years of Duncan-style reform in New York City, six years in D.C., twelve years in Chicago, and nothing to show for it. Just have faith! Believe!

I canít go on.

The very fact that Obama and Arne Duncan respect and agree with Christie on so much should sound some alarm bells. This is the man who among other things called a student an idiot and told him to shut up.

He called the nation's jobless "lazy examples of an entitlement mentality."

Chris Christie..the nation's jobless are lazy examples of an "entitlement mentality"

And last night he proved his bona fides as a Republican by proving he meets his party's other criterion, which is an absolute contempt toward the ordinary men and women who have been victimized by its policies. The night before the nation received its latest bad news on unemployment, Christie told a cheering Republican crowd that the nation's jobless were lazy examples of an entitlement mentality.

..."During another meeting he called a law student an "idiot" and told him to "shut up" before having the student, a former Navy SEAL, forcibly removed from the building.(Part of Christie's intimidation style includes hauling people onstage for a "conversation" - and then not letting them speak.)

If this administration thinks they are showing bipartisanship with such agreement, they are so wrong. It is showing a lack of caring and understanding of what the right wing extremists are about in this country.
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