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TRANSITION: Duncan Pro And Con

Here is a running list of some of the main strengths and weakness of Arne Duncan from his seven years as head of the Chicago public schools:

20duncan190_2Strengths: ▪ Lasted seven years -- a lot longer than many predicted. ▪ State test scores have increased every year Duncan has been in office, according to the board of education. ▪ Duncan has by all accounts improved tremendously as a public speaker. ▪ Sends his daughter to a local public school. ▪ Strong supporter of community schools. ▪ Early critic of NCLB testing, tutoring, and transfer requirements ▪ Chicago participates in Roland Fryer "learn to earn" program. ▪ Tall, skinny, and with a funny name -- just like his soon-to-be-boss! ▪ Has more gray in his hair than it seems from this AP pic.

Weaknesses: ▪ Chicago has never been a finalist for the Broad education prize for urban school reform. ▪ Chicago ’s NAEP scores lag many other big city districts, according to TUDA. ▪ Failed to win substantial concessions from the Chicago Teachers Union in the last contract. ▪  Failed to expand the highly restrictive charter school cap for Chicago (30) . ▪  Renaissance 2010 disrupted the education of thousands of students in the early years esp. ▪  Duncan ’s reform efforts have failed to attract (or retain) white and middle-class families. ▪ Criticized by Blagojevich for only having offered free school bus rides in exchange for the Senate seat.


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We in Chicago will miss Arne’s sincere passion for the success of every child, and know the nation will be better for it.

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