Arne Duncan on the Jon Stewart Daily Show – Reading through the Rhetoric – Why won’t he hear us?

Arne Duncan on the Jon Stewart Daily Show – Reading through the Rhetoric – Why won’t he hear us?


He says:

“I think our biggest challenge, Jon, is that we have become too complacent. We’re 16th in the world today in college graduates. A generation ago we were first. It isn’t that we dropped. We’ve flatlined and 15 other countries have passed us by. We have to educate our way to a better economy. There are two million jobs out there today in our country today that we can’t fill because we don’t have an educated workforce to fill those jobs. And, so we have to be willing to challenge the status quo.” (Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education – Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Challenge the status quo? Race to the Top involves even more testing, data analysis, and privatization than No Child Left Behind ever did. Why would a state agree to more testing to avoid a test?

Maybe… just maybe, because it is the only way to get federal monies for students. Shameful. More testing is not challenging the status quo. It is the status quo.

And, let’s talk about how complacent you think we have become. Really? You say America has dropped to 16th in the world? I think maybe some have become a little complacent in reading the numbers. Dig deeper: 

“The idea that U.S. public schools are falling behind the rest of the world is widely accepted, but a new analysis of international data suggests that using rankings to sort global winners from losers is often misguided, exaggerating tiny differences between countries that may be producing nearly identical results.

In other words, maybe U.S. schools are not as bad as you might think. “Sometimes rankings can make small gaps appear big and vice versa,” says researcher Tom Loveless of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution think tank. Loveless, whose analysis is out Thursday , looked at statistics showing that the United States in 2007 ranked 11th among 36 countries in fourth-grade math.

Re-examining the data, he found that when nations with “statistically indistinguishable” scores were grouped, the U.S. group — which includes Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands — was essentially in fifth place worldwide.

“Nobody ever digs that deep,” Loveless says. “They just want the scores and the rankings, and they don’t ever really look at this part of it.”

The sagging performance in the United States, compared with the rest of the industrialized world, has become a key theme among education reformers.”

As far as college graduates, Sir. Have you ever considered that maybe… just maybe, the number of college graduates has decreased because the economy is so bad? Did you ever consider the possibility that college is so expensive, especially with aid cuts and closures of public universities, many can not afford to go to college… or stay in college?

It’s a hard knock life, outside of those Harvard walls, Sir.

You have it backwards. We do not need to educate ourselves to a better economy. We need a better economy so that we can better educate our kids.

They are just kids. Get off their backs, please. Stop making them bubble – revive the economy on your own, Sir.

Just my opinion. Take it or leave it. 


BTW … Good job, Jon. Thank you. Your mother must be so proud. You should invite her and Matt Damon’s mom to be on the show together. Let them speak for us teachers. We approve.

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PS …


Did you call us complacent, Sir? Really?


It’s 2012. We teachers should be running campaign rallies. Instead, we are public enemy #1…


Oh well, either way, I’m holding up a sign. Save our Schools !