December 17, 2008

Obama's Secretary of Education pick Arne Duncan says "he gave my sister and I the opportunity to start a great school on the South Side of Chicago."

And what do the kids learn at this great school? How to make the kind of grammatical errors that only people who are trying to speak well make?

(Via SondraK.)

ADDED: The Stump likes Duncan:
He's pushed for aggressive reforms [in the Chicago system] that have at times placed him at odds with the city's education establishment. But he's also managed to appeal to that establishment, averting teachers' strikes like those that plagued the city in previous decades....

He's been a leader in the education reform movement, which supports tough policies on teacher accountability, merit pay, high-stakes testing, and fixing failing schools. And yet, he's also been keenly diplomatic with traditional forces like teachers' unions...

Other critics say that Duncan's selection only solidifies that Obama has yet to come down on either side of the debate between reformers and the education establishment.
So he solidifies gelatinousness? Great!
"[Duncan] is seen as a blank slate in terms of ideology or vision," Elizabeth Green at the New York blog Gotham Schools wrote last night. "Indeed, he hasn't done much publicly to indicate where he stands in the Democratic Party's education wars."
Isn't that precisely what you need to be Obama-ready?
Obama [said]: "He's not beholden to any one ideology--and he doesn't hesitate for one minute to do what needs to be done."
So we're getting the moderate, pragmatist Obama I was hoping for. Again, great.

21 comments:

rhhardin said...

Better hypercorrect than not correct at all.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Better hypercorrect than not correct at all.

"Hypercorrect" isn't correct.

peter hoh said...

That's not change I can believe in.

Wait, that sentence ends with a preposition.

Try again.

That's not change in which I can believe.

Michael said...

And I thought I'd only have to put up with the mis-use of "I" on Facebook.

Salamandyr said...

Is it just me or do all those quotes make the man sound aweful?

MadisonMan said...

The easy rule for I/me: Take out the other person or people in the sentence, leaving just I/me. Who would say He gave I the opportunity?

Grammar errors make great calendar and cheap book fodder. Won't this help the publishing companies?

This appointment is very consistent with Obama's other appointments of non-ideologues.

siyeh pass said...

"Indeed, he hasn't done much publicly to indicate where he stands in the Democratic Party's education wars."

Fine with me - I'm not so keen on either side's knee jerks in the education wars.

1jpb said...

Gore received notable news coverage for the same mistake during one of his campaigns w/ WJC.

Presumably this high profile grammar checking is a good way to teach the I/me lesson.

Joan said...

Aren't Chicago schools a mess? Wasn't the Chicago Annenberg Challenge a complete failure? Has Duncan ever actually accomplished anything, or does he just sound good the same way Obama does?

Whenever I hear the phrase "school reform" tied to someone from Chicago, I get very nervous. Bill Ayers' idea of "school reform" is very different from mine, and from what most people think "school reform" should be. So what kind of a "reformer" is Duncan?

(Chumming the waters: Can we at least give Sarah Palin credit for not making this particular grammatical error?)

ricpic said...

Our apple-polisher-in-chief is such a nice boy.

jimbino said...

Bill Clinton made the same error. At least Duncan hasn't (yet) used "absolutely!" or "in terms of" every second sentence.

Anyway, what do you expect from Education majors who come from the bottom of the South Side barrel?

former law student said...

I hope all the clowns who thought that Obama was some sort of radical socialist are beginning to realize he's just a moderate. Or are they hoping that Ayers may yet become Undersecretary of Education?

Aren't Chicago schools a mess? Wasn't the Chicago Annenberg Challenge a complete failure? Has Duncan ever actually accomplished anything, or does he just sound good the same way Obama does?

1. Pretty much, although there are a number of bright spots.
2. This is a glass half-empty or half-full question. While the students in the CAC experiments did no better than their peers in the standard schools, they did no worse, either.
3. First of all, "Arne" is an awesome name for anyone. His cps bio says he managed a school improvement program for an investment group. So presumably financiers are hard-nosed when it comes to expecting return on investment, and they were satisfied with his use of their profits.

what do you expect from Education majors who come from the bottom of the South Side barrel?

Objection: Relevance?

Before beginning a pro basketball career, Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in sociology.

mcg said...

Anyone who is on the opposite side of an argument from Bill Ayers and Mike Klonsky is OK with me. From Klonsky:

While I had no expectations that the Obama team would select the only progressive educator on the list for Sec. of Ed, I had hoped he would steer clear of the hatchet-swinging, test crazy, union busting, NCLB-loving, privatization-minded, Klein-Rhee-Vallas-Duncan types.

bearbee said...

"Who would say He gave I the opportunity?

Me would but I never dare criticize anyone else's grammar since mine is always less than impeccable.

I hope Dick Cavett isn't prepping a NYT Opinion column.

Here is Time on Ducan

Hope he can beat back the teachers union and get something done on vouchers and a national merit pay incentive approach.

He is a 'spread the wealth' guy.

Michael_H said...

"[Duncan] is seen as a blank slate in terms of ideology or vision"

He'll fit right in.

MadisonMan said...

Duncan has a WI connection, so that means he's even better than he was before I learned of that connection (My ex-neighbor's Mom was one of his elementary school teachers).

Fred Drinkwater said...

So far I'm happier than I thought I'd be with the new Pres-to-be.
BUT (and this is a big but) has the O stopped prefacing his arguments with "Look, ..."?
I hate that verbal tic with a white-hot hate.
I take that back. Actually, I hate the unstated condescension, the "Look, (I know you're too stupid / ignorant / bigoted)" implication.

Titushasapartytogoto said...

Arne is kind of hot.

Nice and tall and thin.

I bet he has a long hog.

I would do him.

Joe said...

Tell me again why this is a federal concern? Perhaps those in federal office and with federal jobs have more innate compassion; they care more! And caring, deeply emotionally caring, is what matters.

And how is having the federal government micromanage a teacher's job any better than having a union do so?

Hmm, wasn't Obama for CHANGE? Wouldn't CHANGE be to get rid of NCLB and to abolish the department of education? And aren't college degrees for someone doing trade work a waste of resources?

Big Mike said...

Michele Obama says she wants to "help" Washington, DC, schools. So the true test of Michele's husband and Arne Duncan is whether they support Michele Rhee. If yes, then their rhetoric will match reality. But not until then.

cokaygne said...

I don't understand why federal pols want anything to do with education. It's a loser. Anyone with half a brain, which excludes just about anyone with tenure as a D. Ed. (say that fast), knows: 1. peace of mind, not money, although that helps a lot, is the true measure of success in life; 2. attitude is the means for gaining peace of mind; 3. attitude is something you get from the people who raised you, usually your parents, but not always as in the case of BO whose racist grandparents seem to have done a pretty good job; and 4. the state has not been, cannot be, and never will be anyone's parent in the truest sense. If you don't get it at home, you sure as hell ain't going to get it in school.