"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Duncan News: It's Not How Much You Know But Who You Know, and a Visit to Robt. E. Lee High

America's chief reform schooler this week plans a visit to a high school in Alabama that has a history of opposing the national holiday honoring Dr. King:
The Associated Press
Saturday, March 6, 2010; 9:48 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama's Legislative Black Caucus on Saturday called on U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to cancel a planned appearance at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery.

State Rep. Alvin Holmes said the school and its principal publicly opposed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965. Holmes said it was "insulting" to King and civil rights protesters that President Barack Obama's top education aide was scheduled to appear at the school Monday.. . .

And Duncan tells Gotham Schools that, in the end, it is not what you know that will get you part of the $4.35 billion but, rather, who you know--or more specifically, who knows you:

As finalist states head into the home stretch of competition for coveted Race to the Top funds, who’s running the show could make all the difference, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today.

Duncan appeared today at a panel with former Education Secretary Richard Riley at a professional development conference for teachers in Manhattan. Speaking with reporters afterward, Duncan reiterated what he has often said: Race to the Top applications will be judged on “the three C’s,” a state’s “courage, commitment and capacity” to put its plans into action.

When I asked him today how the contest’s reviewers will determine capacity, Duncan said judges’ appraisals of the people behind the plans will be the most important factor — more important, he said, than a state’s policy track record so far. . . .

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