Chicago/Illinois has been on a political pride rollercoaster in the past two months. After an Obama high, we hit a despicable low thanks to Blagojevich's Senate seat bidding war, and now we're back on top.
From the reports I've read so far, Duncan seems to be getting good reviews from "ed reform" politicians and teachers unions. In the Edweek and eSchoolnews articles, he's painted as an experienced (7 years with CPS, the third largest US school district) leader familiar with problems in urban education and an innovative thinker who experiments with charter schools and teacher pay plans with the collaboration of teachers unions.
In addition to being one of AFT president Randi Weingarten's selections, Duncan has the support of his local NEA leaders.
“In our experience, Arne Duncan is committed to working with others, including the unions, to promote excellence and equity in public education,” Jo Anderson, the executive director of the Illinois Education Association, said in a statement released by the National Education Association after Education Week and other newspapers reported Mr. Duncan’s pending nomination last night. The IEA is an affiliate of the 3.2 million-member NEA. ~Edweek reportBut it's still early. We're still in the afterglow of Obama's announcement and reporters are working off of press releases. As we all know, those winds could turn in a second.
I'm just crossing my fingers that Duncan lives up to the hype - both for Chicago's pride and schools, teachers and especially students around the country.
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