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Posted at 10:20 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

School board conferees get tough with Duncan

By Valerie Strauss

Education Secretary Arne Duncan got an earful from some attendees of a National School Boards Association conference.

According to Michele McNeil of Education Week,
Duncan on Monday appeared at the association's 38th annual Federal Relations Network Conference to give a speech and answer questions from the crowd.

That's when, as McNeil wrote, it became clear just "how fed up" some association members are with federal reform policies.

Wrote McNeil: "Among the questions: Why do you continue to focus on incentive pay for teachers when research shows it doesn't work? How is it fair to judge a school district full of students who don't speak English well on an English-only test, for purposes of determining which schools qualify for School Improvement Grants? And—in reference to the Obama administration's focus on competitive grants—Why should children compete for their education?"

When Duncan was asked whether he would give waivers to school districts to avoid sanctions under No Child Left Behind if Congress fails to remove some of the more punitive aspects of the law in time, he dodged the question.

There's more, which you can read here, at Education Week.

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By Valerie Strauss  | February 8, 2011; 10:20 AM ET
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  arne duncan, education secretary arne duncan, no child left behind, school board associations, school boards  
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Wrap Duncan in cellophane and put a bow on him; he is a gag gift to education. Yet, we really are gagging on his bizarre agenda. The line of questioning from the attendees further shows the wretched stuff isn't going down well. Good. Enough.

Posted by: shadwell1 | February 8, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps someone ought to tell Duncan that if he doesn't start doing some real reform, instead of the phony reform he has been doing - we won't be voting for his boss in 2012.

Posted by: jlp19 | February 8, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

He is just another talking head as part of the administration. He is handcuffed by his own ignorance and too ignorant to listen to those that know.

Posted by: jbeeler | February 8, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with all of the above comments.

Still think it's time for there to be a 1-week strike by teachers; perhaps one demand to be met would be replacement of Sec. Duncan by someone much more knowledgeable and with matching, respected experience.

Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | February 8, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

to PLMichaels: What a great idea! If all public school teachers in the U.S. went on strike for even just one day, we'd shut the whole country down. Perhaps then the general public would see what an important job we actually do each and every day!

Posted by: UrbanDweller | February 8, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

When I heard Gloria Romero was invited to Obama's Superbowl party, I said, "That's the last straw!" and ripped the Obama bumper sticker off my car. To think I contributed to his campaign!!! I'm voting Republican in the next election (and I'm a teacher). Sad time for educators.

Posted by: chicogal | February 8, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with chicogal:

Obama's partying with DFER and the hedge fund managers. I voted for Obama, but I will not make the same mistake twice.

Directives from deformers are meaningless.

Abolish the US Department of Education and send billions to local schools with local control. Stop the federal grant fiascos like Race to the Top and Reading First. End high-stakes testing and stop charter school scams.

Posted by: nfsbrrpkk | February 9, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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