Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicago's Arne Duncan Gets Education Nod

Just Labor, Agriculture and Transportation to go if memory serves. From Change.gov:
President-elect Obama announces Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education
For Arne Duncan, CEO of the Chicago school system, "school reform isn’t just a theory in a book -- it’s the cause of his life," President-elect Barack Obama said in announcing him as his choice for Secretary of Education.
"In the next few years, the decisions we make about how to educate our children will shape our future for generations to come," President-elect Obama said. "And the results aren't just about test scores or statistics, but about whether our children are developing the skills they need to compete with any worker in the world for any job."
Those scores and statistics are good, though. President-elect Obama highlighted some of Duncan's most notable successes, including a dramatic increase in the number of master teachers, his record of reforming failing schools, and improvements in key metrics.
"In just seven years, he’s boosted elementary test scores here in Chicago from 38 percent of students meeting the standards to 67 percent. The dropout rate has gone down every year he’s been in charge. And on the ACT, the gains of Chicago students have been twice as big as those for students in the rest of the state," President-elect Obama said.
As Chief Executive Officer of Chicago schools, Duncan oversaw the closing and re-opening of Dodge Renaissance Academy, a school on Chicago's West Side that was the site of this morning's press conference. President-elect Obama pointed out that since the school re-opened in 2003, "the number of students meeting state standards has more than tripled."
"Whether it's fighting poverty, strengthening the economy or promoting opportunity, education is the common thread," Secretary-designate Duncan said in his remarks. "It is the civil rights issue of our generation and it is the one sure path to a more equal, fair and just society. While there are no simple answers, I know from experience that when you focus on basics like reading and math, when you embrace innovative new approaches to learning, and when you create a professional climate that attracts great teachers, you can make a difference for children."

No comments: