Phase one was the takeover of the college loan market that was attached to healthcare bill without debate. The next phase includes a revamped No Child Left (NCLB) behind and an updating of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
There is no doubt that NCLB has been a disaster, and Duncan seemed in tune with those failings and seemed serious about refocusing priorities to deal with them. But the group was short on specifics and long on rhetoric specifically the vision of “education from cradle to career”, which was repeated several times by Harkin and Duncan in the course of their remarks.
According to Harkin parents can expect children to enter the school system at earlier ages, days will be longer, school years will be extended, and school facilities will become community centers for students and parents. According to the just released Blueprint for Reform there will also be renewed emphasis on things like music, physical education, history, and civics.
Unlike healthcare don’t expect to see much angst generated by education reform even though the impact can have far reaching social ramifications.
Update 11:00AM : Ed. Sec Duncan is just another Chicago Style Pol. Color me stunned! "Obama’s SecEd manipulated school lists to favor powerful:
While many Chicago parents took formal routes to land their children in the best schools, the well-connected also sought help through a shadowy appeals system created in recent years under former schools chief Arne Duncan.
Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city’s premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan’s office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.
The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan’s tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley’s office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogersand former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun…