Tag Archives: observes

Who's Surprised Stimulus "Magical Money Tree" Isn't Funding Reform?

Hey, I may be little, but I’m smart. People should pay attention to me. Back in January, I told you that the stimulus bill — before it even passed — would blow dollars away from education reform. What? You doubt that it’s true? This week the American Enterprise Institute’s Andy Smarick put out its second “Education Stimulus Watch” brief (PDF) observes there is “little evidence that that states and districts are making reduction decisions with either reform or long-term considerations in mind.” One large obstacle to using the difficult times to effect creative change — besides plain-old bureaucratic inertia — is restrictive union contracts, notes Smarick. Surprise, surprise.


More Clarity Doesn't Give Arne Duncan Free Pass on Voucher Study Release

When I wrote yesterday with questions about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s handling of the release of the D.C. voucher study, I didn’t necessarily expect such a fast answer. But former U.S. Department of Education official Russ Whitehurst has posted “Secretary Duncan Is Not Lying”. It’s a worthy read, and puts to rest the more extreme hypothesizing that Duncan knew about the positive results and intentionally hid them from Congress during the important debate on reauthorizing the program. While it seems clear that extreme case isn’t true, Jay Greene also rightly observes that other unsettling issues remain: Why did Duncan suppress the positive results in a Friday afternoon release with no publicity and a negative spin? Why falsely claim that the WSJ never attempted to contact him? The Secretary may well not be lying about his knowledge of the study but his credibility in general is very shaky right now. I’m too young to really grasp it all, but it seems politics lies at the center of the controversy. The D.C. voucher issue raises the specter of divisions within the Democratic Party and therefore causes some adults discomfort. But downplaying the results of the research doesn’t serve either the kids in […]