Friday, August 19, 2011

Epic Fail: Obama's Education Secretary Blasts Texas School System Under Perry

It's quite obvious who Obama fears, isn't it?
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, coming out early and tough against Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said he feels “very, very badly for the children” in Texas who go to public schools under Perry’s administration.

It was entirely predictable that Duncan would blast Perry, who just entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination and who has made it something of a sport to attack the president.

Just the other day, I wrote that no U.S. governor has been at public odds with Obama’s education policies more than Perry, and that tensions would only escalate. It’s safe to say they have.

Even as other Republicans have found bipartisan ground with Obama on education reform, Perry has repeatedly criticized Duncan’s Education Department, accusing it of attempting a “federal takeover of public schools” with the Race to Top competition in which states vied for federal funds by promising to implement specific education reforms.

Perry opted out of Race to the Top last year in a very public way, blasting the administration.

Now, in an interview on Bloomberg Television, airing today and tomorrow, Duncan said that public schools in Texas have “really struggled” under Perry.

“Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college,” he said. “I feel very, very badly for the children there.”

“You have seen massive increases in class size,” Duncan said of the Texas public school system during Perry’s terms as governor since December 2000. “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.”
So obviously the Chicago public schools under Duncan's stewardship must have done a bang-up job, right?

Um, uh...
But what about the fact, I responded, that on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Texas' fourth- and eighth-graders substantially outperformed their peers in Chicago in reading and math?
Naturally, Obama's stooge replies with a non-answer.
"I would have to look at all the details, but there are real challenges in Texas. And like every other state, they should be addressed openly and honestly as in Illinois, as in Chicago, and everywhere else."True, the national averages aren't great, but Texas is right there with the pack. So why is Duncan dissing the Lone Star State? Its minority students outperform minority students in Chicago, albeit by smaller margins. And with a high school graduation rate of about 73%, Texas may be slightly below the national average, but it's doing a lot better than Chicago, which only graduates about 56% of its students.
So much for that lame line of attack.

As if those kids in Chicago are prepared for college.
Wednesday's legislative hearing came after the Tribune reported last month that the South Side public university intentionally allowed failing students to remain in school to boost its enrollment numbers.

Maloney, who requested state financial aid information after the Tribune report, said that during the 2008-09 academic year, 449 Chicago State students received state grant money even though, under university policy, an untold number of them should have been dismissed for poor academic performance.

Of those students, 106 had a grade-point average of 0.0 and still received aid from the taxpayer-funded Monetary Award Program, known as MAP.
Who was it who represented Chicago's South Side?

Oh yeah, some guy named Obama.

I wonder whether those college kids could even find Martha's Vineyard on a map?


tom rober said...

Check this comparison that Iowa Hawk did about school performance comparing Texas to Wisconsin.

Polimerican said...

We should never forget to use Arne Duncan's full title:

Arne Duncan, current Secretary of Education and CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 2001-2008

Obama owns every bit of the failure of the Chicago schools.

"The Mid-South Plan was designed to close 20 of its 22 schools, almost entirely African American, over a four-year period, replacing them with Renaissance 2010 schools. Parents received notice from the Board the final day of school in 2004 that their children's schools were closing. Children have been treated as cattle, shuffled around from school to school. One Mid-South school, Doolittle East, received over 500 students from June to September 2005 without additional resources to facilitate this change. This resulted in spiked violence. On the west side, the closing of Austin High School (another African American school) resulted in over 100 students who used to walk to school having to leave their community to go to Roberto Clemente High School, a primarily Latino school over five miles away. The results were spiked violence. When Englewood High School closed in 2006, hundreds of students were parceled out to Robeson, Dyett, Hyde Park, and Hirsch High Schools?all are African American. The community warned CPS that these moves would result in increased violence and put children's lives at risk due to crossing neighborhood and gang boundaries. As usual, Duncan and CPS ignored community wisdom, and the results at all of these schools were destabilizing spikes in student violence."

Let's have that national conversation about education....Shall we?