Arne Duncan, too, spoke to the DNC... Ignoring the Obama administration's role in promoting union busting charter schools and 'turnaround' attacks on veteran teachers

It was easy enough to miss, Arne Duncan speaking briefly to the Democratic National Convention and ignoring all of the main pieces of the "Race To The Top" program that he has fired against teachers and teacher unions since he became U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2009. As a piece of hypocritical political nonsense, any speech by Arne Duncan is fun to analyze. From the first sentence to the last, this one is at or over the top, so I'll just share it here (see below).

Nobody could resist a reality check on the first sentence, though. Arne may be at the DNC as the "parent" of children who attend public schools. But Arne's boss has avoided public schools for his kids forever. Back in Chicago, Barack's children (like Rahm Emanuel's) went to the University of Chicago Lab School, where, incidentally, so did Arne). Today, Barack's kids go to Sidwell Friends, which has all the things Chicago's public schools took away from public school teachers and children while Arne was CEO (2001 - 2008).

And just to rub salt in those wounds, during the NATO summit in Chicago a few months ago, Mrs. Obama snubbed her own roots. Michelle Obama got all 12 years of her pre-university education in Chicago's public schools from the teachers Arne and Barack are now trashing: Bryn Mawr Elementary school for K-8; Whitney Young High School for 9 - 12). But when she returned to Chicago in May 2012, once again she carried out the same teacher bashing privatization agenda of the Obama administration to tout the Noble Street charter schools when she took the first wives of the NATO leaders on a tour of what she said was her old neighborhood. You can't make this stuff up. Has she ever bothered to return to Whitney Young to thank the teachers who helped her get to the Ivy League and her present state?


I'm here tonight as a parent with two young children who attend a wonderful public school. No one has more at stake in this election than our kids, and that is why we need to re-elect President Obama!

Our president knows education is about jobs. It's about giving every child a shot at a secure middle-class life. Right now, we're in a race for jobs and industries of the future. If countries like China out-educate us today, they'll out-compete us tomorrow. The president believes that education begins at home with parents who take responsibility. But he also believes that teachers matter. In his first two years in office, he helped save the jobs of 400,000 educators.

And President Obama didn't just invest resources; he demanded reform. And 46 states responded by raising education standards. The president also believes teachers must be respected and paid like the professionals they are. No teacher should have to teach to the test. Great teachers should be recognized and rewarded.

And President Obama also knows that higher education is an economic necessity. He fought to keep student loan interest rates from going up. He fought for Pell grants. He took the big banks out of the federal student loan program and passed billions of dollars in savings on to young people. This year alone, he helped nearly 10 million students afford college.

The president knows that the path to the middle class goes right through America's classrooms. That was his path. That's America's path. However, his opponent believes differently.

Under the Romney-Ryan budget, education would be cut by as much as 20 percent. Think about what that would mean: 200,000 fewer children in Head Start, fewer teachers in the classroom, fewer resources for poor kids and students with disabilities, fewer after school programs. Ten million students could see their Pell grants reduced, putting higher education further out of reach. And these cuts wouldn't create jobs or pay down the deficit. They would go toward a huge new tax cut for those at the very top.

In order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, Governor Romney will cut education for our children. That's the difference in this election. They see education as an expense. President Obama's sees it as an investment. That's the choice in this election. And that's why our president needs four more years!

QUESTION OF THE NIGHT ABOUT ARNE DUNCAN'S FAMILY FORTUNE. When he was growing up, Arne Duncan was the child of (a) the South Side working class, (b) a modest middle class family, so of an underpaid professor, (c) the child of a millionaire family, (d) the child of a billionaire family. Please provide a written explanation for your choice of answer.


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