Diane Ravitch rips Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the New York Review of Books, grading him an F on every front:
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan loves evaluation. He insists that everyone should willingly submit to public grading of the work they do. The Race to the Top program he created for the Obama Administration requires states to evaluate all teachers based in large part on the test scores of their students. When the Los Angeles Times released public rankings that the newspaper devised for thousands of teachers, Duncan applauded and asked, “What’s there to hide?” Given Duncan’s enthusiasm for grading educators, it seems high time to evaluate his own performance as Secretary of Education.
I am personally less concerned with the federal role in education policy than Ravitch. After all, it’s not like leaving education of Texas children to the good people of Texas has worked out so well. But on the other fronts–have these policies been good for U.S. children? Do these policies inspire good teaching? Have Duncan’s policies strengthened public education?–I totally agree with Ravitch.
She mostly holds her criticisms to Duncan, but given the long-term relationship between Obama and Duncan, my criticism goes all the way to the top. This isn’t a department like Interior, where I don’t really think Obama cares that much about BLM regulations. Obama has always talked a big game on education. Unfortunately, the policies of his Education Secretary have driven good teachers out of jobs and dropped teacher morale dramatically.
I know if I want good teachers at tremendously low pay, as Americans do, the way to keep them is to tie their employment to improved test scores and not allow them to teach.