Arne Duncan as a Ridiculous Spin-Meister

From EduSanity comes a finely crafted response to last week’s attempts by Arne Duncan to belittle and denigrate his critics. Here is an excerpt:

In the “real world” Minister Duncan doesn’t even have a background in education.  Duncan became CEO of the Chicago Public Schools because he’s from Chicago and played basketball with Barack Obama back in the day.  He hasn’t taught a single public school child – rich or poor – in his life. It takes some serious gumption to stand on his soapbox filled with no experience and tell others like me what the “real world” of education is like.

Duncan then takes hypocrisy to all new heights when he accuses us of focusing on “false debates”, because as Education Secretary he doesn’t actually engage ANYBODY in a substantive debate.  He appears on friendly television shows and fields softball questions from fawning reporters.   He answers questions on Twitter for an hour each week – picking only those questions that allow him to spew his rhetorical propaganda while he ignores questions that require substance.  He stands behind the podium and laughs like Baghdad Bob at the silliness of those who oppose him and the power of the federal government. He refuses to actually engage in any sort of substantive debate with anybody who is actually qualified to question his reforms.  This I can promise you:  Put Arne Duncan on camera with me and a moderator and this armchair pundit would make him look like Sarah Palin looking for Russia out her window.  It will never happen.

Arne the Education Secretary is playing the role of Arne the politician.  If you look at his quotes above with a critical rhetorical eye you will see that Arne is not trying to bring American citizens and American educators together, he is trying to divide us.  Many of the so-called “armchair pundits” he is referring to are practicing classroom teachers.  These are the “courageous” educators who risk their jobs to stand up to the classist, racist and divisive education policies that Duncan and his corporate cronies have foisted on American school children.  These “armchair pundits” are busy filling backpacks with bags of cereal and granola bars on Friday afternoons because their students may not get a meal over the weekend.  These “armchair pundits” know that poverty is not an excuse – it is a reason. 

Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. Edusanity, first I love your name. That is wordsmithing. You would have loved to be me a few times. Once when Duncan was in Pico Rivera last year he asked us to bring everyone we could as he really wanted to speak to all. We did that and there were 1,000-1,200 people and we brought over 25%. I got there late and a friend said get in line. Duncan had just started a little late also as he was doing a fund raiser as we had someone there early to see what was going on. Within 5-10 minutes Duncan says “I have to leave now.” He made a big mistake. I said before he could move a finger, eyes or a toe “He doesn’t care about you, He’s leaving to go get money.” He was leaving as he had a fundraiser set up and the helicopter to get him there. Police, T.V. cameras, staff all run at me and the police ask me to go outside. I left the cops there and waited for them and then gave his staff a lesson concerning their boss, Duncan, on what a liar he is and his real history. The cops started laughing finally and the students were the most interested. 1/2 of the audience left in disgust. We stayed and talked with the students and they took off for money. Did the same to Steven Brill in L.A. He ended up running from his book signing after I hit him with questions inside. They kicked me out. I laughed all the way home. Friends were inside and watched him run out the door and friends outside watched him run to the limo and burn rubber out of the place. Watch Deasy’s face when I speak at Board Meetings if he does not run out of the room especially after what I did to him on talk radio today. When opportunity knocks you must react immediately or it is gone in a flash.


  2. This for me is another addition to the truckload of hay bales from Duncan that keeps breaking the camels back. No straws for Arne, he’s all in. Here’s my personal favorite, a commentary on Duncan’s Orwellian dissembling at the AERA conference.


  3. Sorry, I posted the wrong version. Here’s the final edit.

    Arne’s Orwellian dissembling knows no bounds. Arne and his speech writers are quite skilled at disinformation leading to the appearance that he knows less than nothing about education, but I don’t believe it. I think that to lie so completely on so many occasions, Duncan and friends actually must know what the truth is to be able to avoid it so very well. Here’s my personal favorite, a commentary on his speech before AERA, the American Education Research Association.


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