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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

News Flash:  Arne Duncan Stepping Down, John King Is Interim Replacement

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.  |  October 2, 2015 

Arne Duncan is stepping down in December.  John King, former New York State Superintendent will replace him on an interim basis.  The initial public reaction of joy turned to dismay upon hearing the person chosen to wear the mantle of education chief.

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Arne Duncan, one of the longest-serving members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, will step down in December, officials said Friday.

In a letter to his staff obtained by The Associated Press, Duncan said he’s returning to Chicago to live with his family. He said he isn’t sure what he will do next, but that he hopes his future will “continue to involve the work of expanding opportunity for children.”

Obama has tapped John King Jr., a senior official at Education, to run the department for the remainder of his administration.

Obama doesn’t intend to nominate King or to nominate another education secretary during the rest of his presidency, but will instead ask King to serve in an acting capacity, said a White House official, who wasn’t authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.

That approach will spare Obama a confirmation fight over a nominee in the Senate….."

Duncan’s explanation that his family has paid a high price for him to be in Washington and it’s time for them to return to their home in Chicago is illogical.  With one year left to serve in the White House, why couldn’t Duncan’s family remain in the high end Arlington, Virginia neighborhood where his children attended a public school that is free of Common Core because Virginia refused to adopt Common Core? 

Duncan seemingly just made this decision to step down in December.  Yet his family moved to Chicago in time to enroll the children for the 2015 fall semester in the elite University of Chicago Lab School. 

That school, too, is free from Common Core, assessments, and teacher evaluations based upon test scores.  But then perhaps the elitist Duncan kids deserve better than the Chicago public schools with Common Core which the lesser privileged are doomed to attend.

Let’s check out the Duncan replacement.  New York State ChancellorJohn King left his post in December 2014 amid a scandal in which he and the Board of Regents were responsible for granting approval for the opening of a charter school by Ted J. Morris, Jr., who was a total fraud.  It appears that they had not conducted any type of background check. 

When King was tapped to become Arne Duncan’s “senior advisor,” the cycle continued -- an incompetent hired an incompetent who had given his approval for an incompetent fraud. 

How convenient that King was available to fill in for Duncan who is just too homesick for Chicago to eke out another year in D.C.  Or could it be that Obama is trying to distance himself from the widely despised Arne Duncan whose name is synonymous with Common Core, NCLB waivers, and throwing insults at white suburban moms

A plus is that King will present a far lower profile than Duncan as Obama enters his last year in office and the 2016 presidential election year moves into high gear.

Meanwhile, Duncan has done immeasurable damage to the American public education system and to our children.  Wonder what highly lucrative position is Duncan’s reward for his destructive tenure in the nation’s highest office in public education? 

Copyright 2015 Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.  All rights reserved. 

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