Chicago Mag Interviews Arne (Gently)

Jennifer Tanaka has a new Q and A with Arne Duncan in the latest Chicago Magazine that you will probably want to check out.

In the interview, Arne says he wished he'd had more time to do Freshmen Connections. He explains away the short day and year with "It's always been that."

He claims that middle class parents have been returning to 30-40-50 neighborhood schools in Chicago -- "outcompeting" Latin and Parker. [Really? I'd have to see the numbers to back up those claims.]

He laments some of his early moves, such as small school conversions in high schools.

He talks about the "evening" shift for preschoolers -- 4:00 to 8:00 pm.

What amazes me -- and will no doubt grab your attention as well -- is hearing Arne talk down and local state standards, given how resistant CPS was to even using Illinois standards much less national ones. He says:

"What I want to do is what we tried to do in Chicago—simply tell the truth. The good, the bad, the ugly. Right now, many states are lying to their children; they are telling their children and their families they are on the path to success when in fact they are not."

I can't believe that everyone is letting Duncan get away with saying this as much as he had lately -- it ignores his own actions in Chicago and his consistent opposition to even the state-set NCLB minimum standards.

Check it out. What do you think?

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