10 Facts About Obama’s New Education Secretary

The word is out: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan as his Secretary of Education.  But who is this man? 


Here are 10 Facts About Arne Duncan:


1.  He’s been CEO of Chicago’s public schools since 2001.


2.  He was appointed deputy chief of Chicago schools by Paul Vallas in 1998.


3.  He has a bachelor’s in sociology from Harvard University.


4.  He is 44 years old (he was born 11/6/1964).


5.  He is known for “reaching out” to teachers unions.


6.  The dropout rate in Chicago has gone down every year since he’s been in charge. 


7.   Believes in performance pay for teachers.


8.  He asked congress in 2006 to double funding for the No Child Left Behind law.


9.  He supports the expansion of charter schools.


10.  He played pro basketball in Australia from 1987 to 1991. 


To read more about Arne Duncan, click here.

9 thoughts on “10 Facts About Obama’s New Education Secretary

  1. Thanks for the facts and the link. The info is interesting and timely.
    We need a continuous flow of pertinent educational information–local, state, and national.

  2. Note he has no teaching experience just like the guy who appointed him to deputy chief, Paul Vallas. To say he “supports expansion of charter schools” is putting it mildly. Duncan would turn the whole nation into charters despite their failure to do any better than the public schools. He’s been doing this out in Chicago for years (check out the website, District 299). Arne only “reaches out” to patsy union officials like Marilyn Stewart, who ignores the voices of the teachers’ union, so she could do corporate America’s bidding. Stewart is known for counting only votes that agree with her and ignoring anyone that votes against her proposals. Check out George Schmidt’s Substance website for what you can expect to come to Philly in the next year (why do you think Ackerman wanted a one year contract for the teachers?) 10 Facts is more media fluff.

  3. It is truly amazing that America’s Secretary of Education has absolutely NO teaching experience. This is a common theme when it comes to education in this country–those in charge, from academics to politicians to school policy makers–have zero time in the classroom. It sure seems like the lunatics are running the asylum.

    –Chris Paslay

  4. For anyone who was at last night’s PFT rally, there was a lot “added” to Duncan’s resume, by JerryJordan. Arne’s favorite word seems to be “reconstitution” of schools, which interestingly enough, are now called Renaissance schools. It’s catchy, isn’t it?

  5. Arne’s MO is to reconstitute schools by dismissing the staff and then making them reapply (most of them won’t be rehired). What the public doesn’t know is that he also “dismissed” the students too. As a result the student body is reconstituted too. He did this with the Dodge School in Chicago. 12 of the original student body were allowed back in after the school was reconstituted. Was isn’t Arne expected to work with whatever children he gets, just like teachers in the real world do?

  6. Dismissed the students? Aah they were sent to other schools so that the school would be set up for “success” Give me a break. If parents want “choice”, is it necessary to gut the schools that you already have, rather than put resources INTO them? I’d like to see more magnet type schools to attract students.

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