February 2010 Your Turn

He’s definitely racing somewhere, just maybe not to “The Top.”

That’s what many of you seemed to be saying when asked if Arne Duncan is “on the right track” concerning his ambitious plan to reform the public schools. Just 16 percent said that the education secretary’s plan is sound, compared with 26 percent who found it seriously flawed. The biggest group -- 48 percent -- weighed in with “maybe,” and 10 percent chose “none of the above.”

Is this NCLB all over again? That thought scares Missouri board member Peggy Taylor.

“It appears we are selling out for big bucks, while compromising if not eroding local control,” said Taylor, who is also president of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. “Big bucks are owed to public education for all the broken promises over the years. The ‘rush’ to the race certainly guarantees another federal mess at a time we are challenged to survive with our budgets and save teaching positions. Secretary Duncan’s enthusiasm for education is refreshing, but firing principals and 50 percent of the teachers is not the answer. Is this the preliminary test run for the new look of the replacement for NCLB? That is scary to me!”

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