Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Glass Half-Full on Duncan

The thing about Arne Duncan is that he has been a big city superintendent for seven years and has worked in education since 1992. That's a relatively long time to be an urban superintendent, and by most measures Chicago's results have been good, but not great, and certainly not miraculous. Unlike Joel Klein, Duncan's administration doesn't seem as singularly driven toward public relations, although perhaps that's because I'm farther away from it.

Anyway, as Moltke the Elder said, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy," and nobody is more certain of the brilliance of their education reform plan than someone who hasn't actually tried to reform a school district. I am hopeful that at least Duncan comes to the job with an appreciation of the complexity of the task before him, without the banner of simple solutions.

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