This Week in “Please Shut Up” should have been aimed at George Will and that he really needs to shut up about rape.
But, instead, let’s look at Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who has held forth on the Vergaras ruling in California:
The ruling was hailed by the nation’s top education chief as bringing to California — and possibly the nation — an opportunity to build “a new framework for the teaching profession.” The decision represented “a mandate” to fix a broken teaching system, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said….
Duncan, a former schools chief in Chicago, said he hoped the ruling will spark a national dialogue on a teacher tenure process “that is fair, thoughtful, practical and swift.”
At a minimum, Duncan said the court decision, if upheld, will bring to California “a new framework for the teaching profession that protects students’ rights to equal educational opportunities while providing teachers the support, respect and rewarding careers they deserve.”
“The students who brought this lawsuit are, unfortunately, just nine out of millions of young people in America who are disadvantaged by laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students. Today’s court decision is a mandate to fix these problems,” Duncan said. (as reported by Michael Martinez)
Now, let’s consider the context. First, Arne Duncan has no education or experience in teaching as a profession. But, Duncan has a long list of political appointments:
In 1992, childhood friend and investment banker John W. Rogers, Jr., appointed Duncan director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program mentoring children at one of the city’s worst-performing elementary schools and then assisting them as they proceeded further in the education system. After the school closed in 1996, Duncan and Rogers were instrumental in re-opening it as a charter school, Ariel Community Academy. In 1999, Duncan was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.
CEO of Chicago Public Schools Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Duncan to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools on June 26, 2001….
Duncan was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2009. [all emphasis added]
For the record, having no background as a teacher and then having spent his entire professional career as a political appointee depending on his privileged connections, Duncan has no appreciation for teaching or for workers’ rights.
And thus, this week, we must implore: Arne Duncan, please shut up.