David Brooks has been weighing in on the education secretary debate for a few weeks now. Today's??latest installment, however, I think was his best. He brought up the usual names for the top spot--Joel Klein, Arne Duncan, and Linda Darling-Hammond--but he also had an interesting insight that merits more attention:
The candidates before Obama apparently include: Joel Klein, the highly successful New York chancellor who has, nonetheless, been blackballed by the unions; Arne Duncan, the reforming Chicago head who is less controversial; Darling-Hammond herself; and some former governor to be named later, with Darling-Hammond as the deputy secretary.
In some sense, the final option would be the biggest setback for reform. Education is one of those areas where implementation and the details are more important than grand pronouncements. If the deputies and assistants in the secretary's office are not true reformers, nothing will get done. (my emphasis)
So what does this mean? There are many theories about the bully-pulpit skills of Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings. Mike, in fact, wrote a few weeks ago??(actually in response to another Brooks column) that the perfect education secretary would have a strong grasp of education, policy, and management....