Tomorrow Duncan will deliver a speech to NASBE members on the role of the federal government in education reform.?? I agree with K-12 Politics that this part of Duncan's prepared remarks is refreshing:??
"I want to be a partner in your success, not the boss of it. But I'm not willing to be a silent partner who puts a stamp of approval on the status quo. I plan to be an active partner. As a nation, we need a federal voice encouraging our shared goal of success for every student and stimulating innovations to reach those goals. But I'm also mindful of this. For nearly 200 years, our federal government was a silent partner. It mostly sat on the sideline while a shameful achievement gap persisted."
"In cases where children are being underserved or neglected, we have a moral obligation to intervene, and we won't allow fear of over-reaching to stop us."
While the rhetoric is nothing new, the difference between Duncan and scores of others using such no-excuses language is that, well, Duncan's got a lot of money to bargain with. And, he represents an insurgence of new thinking in the Democratic Party, which people are noticing and reiterating. In today's New York Times, Kristof writes:
?? "Democrats have too often resisted reform and stood by as generations of disadvantaged children have been cemented into an underclass by third-rate schools. President Obama and his education secretary, Arne...