In a previous column, I reported how Arne Duncan has become an embarrassment here in New York City for his misuse of statistics and his slavish support of our billionaire Republican mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who is running for re-election to a third term. Duncan also called a series of blatantly propagandistic articles that supported Bloomberg’s education record as “thoughtful,” published in the NY Post, the tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch.
But the problem is much larger than this: Duncan’s policies now threaten to alienate voters nationwide. The latest embarrassment is a national “tour,” where Duncan plans to join Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich in cities around the country, pushing for more privatization, including the proliferation of more charter schools.
The fact that Duncan is joining these two disreputable figures reveals troubling insensitivity on his part. The last time Gingrich got involved in the education issue, Newt proposed forcibly removing children from inner-city parents to put them in orphanages and boarding schools.