"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Arne Duncan's Two Faces

Diane Ravitch wrote about a visit to a cocktail party she attended where Arne Duncan was the guest of honor. Her description needs no further comment. This is from her Bridging Differences blog.
I accepted an invitation to a cocktail party at a private home where the guest of honor was Secretary Duncan. The setting was beyond splendid, in a gorgeous home overlooking the valley. Secretary Duncan introduced a man who had led a campaign to build playgrounds, in fact, had created some 2,000 playgrounds. When introducing his friend, Secretary Duncan said that there was nothing more important for young children than having time for unstructured play, time to tinker, time to make things with their hands. He was wonderful. Knowing how much the U.S. Department of Education has promoted high-stakes testing, I was puzzled. My puzzlement turned to bewilderment a few days later when the Department of Education announced that the next round of Race to the Top would require the testing of 4- and 5-year-old children. Wait, I wondered, what about time for unstructured play, tinkering, etc.?

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