When Arne Duncan Visited Harvard

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited his alma mater, Harvard University, he used the opportunity to criticize the Trump Administration and bemoan the state of federal K-12 education policy.

Henry Zhu at The Harvard Crimson writes:

Duncan discussed his perspectives on the current state of K–12 education and the persistent inequality in educational opportunities in American schools. The former secretary criticized the administration of current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos under President Donald Trump.

Duncan delivered a blunt assessment of the educational philosophy of the Trump administration, claiming that officials’ silence and inactivity on K–12 education reform are deliberate.

“I would argue this administration does not want a well-educated citizenry, does not want people who can think independently,” Duncan said. “The absence of voice is not a mistake; I would argue that is intentional.”

He was also critical of the state of teacher training in America, referencing a survey that stated that two-thirds of education school graduates felt that they were not prepared to enter the teaching profession.

“If two-thirds of doctors said they were unprepared to practice medicine, we would have a revolution in this country,” Duncan said. “But we don’t value teachers. We don’t value education.”

Read the rest. Here are four brief thoughts.

First, the Trump Administration with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has done plenty to meddle in K-12 education policy (for example ask Utah). We wish she would stop. 

Second, the Every Student Succeeds Act, despite what its supporters would say, guarantees more meddling by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Third, if Duncan thinks there is silence from the Trump Administration on K-12 education policy, it shows you just how much the Duncan expanded federal control. 

Fourth, the federal government will help improve teacher training how exactly? I shudder to think.