School & District Management

Duncan Hits Road, Hoping for Earful

By Michele McNeil — May 18, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Arne Duncan has been a mainstay of the speakers’ circuit inside the Washington Beltway since taking the helm of the U.S. Department of Education four months ago, but now he’s taking his show on the road.

The rural community of Berkeley County, W.Va., was the first stop on a recently launched “listening tour” that will take the former Chicago schools chief to at least 16 states as he gathers ideas on how the department—and the Obama administration—should change the No Child Left Behind Act.

For the first 100 days or so of Mr. Duncan’s tenure as education secretary, he and his staff have focused mostly on the economic-stimulus package, which includes some $100 billion for education that the department must disburse and oversee.

But the next big agenda item is reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as NCLB.

“I want to launch a national conversation before we sit down and rewrite the No Child Left Behind law,” Mr. Duncan said at a May 11 speech in Washington.

The goal is for Mr. Duncan and President Barack Obama to be able to outline their plans by early fall, said Peter Cunningham, a spokesman for the secretary.

As part of his tour, Mr. Duncan last week was scheduled to stop in Vermont and in Detroit—earlier this year, Mr. Duncan said he “loses sleep” over the education students get in Detroit’s low-performing schools.

Other states targeted for potential events include California, Montana, Wyoming, New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Utah, and Alaska.

As he hopscotches across the country, Mr. Duncan is also focusing on workforce development and higher education issues. His West Virginia stop included visits to two schools and a community college.

“Arne hasn’t spent a lot of time in rural districts; he hasn’t spent a lot of time in community colleges. He’s really only worked in Chicago,” Mr. Cunningham said. “It’s important for Arne to be able to say what this really means to people around the country.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 20, 2009 edition of Education Week


Student Well-Being Webinar After-School Learning Top Priority: Academics or Fun?
Join our expert panel to discuss how after-school programs and schools can work together to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management School Counselors Face 'Role Ambiguity.' This State Tried to Clarify Matters
New York's new regulations didn't always change how principals viewed or interacted with school counselors, research finds.
5 min read
Man trapped in maze.
Man trapped in maze.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Women of Color Bring Special Strengths to the Superintendency, New Research Suggests
They have deep expertise in instructional leadership and a facility for working with stakeholders and managing thorny social issues.
4 min read
Image of diverse faces.
School & District Management 3 Principles to Help School and District Leaders Build Better Relationships With Teachers
Communication, capacity building, and a willingness to fail are key tenets of relationship-building, school and district leaders say.
2 min read
051223 Lead Sym Alyson 2 jb BS
Chris Ferenzi for Education Week
School & District Management This Principal Says It's Critical to Infuse Students' and Teachers' Days With Joy
Part of a school leader's role is to guard against outside distractions so teachers can focus on kids, says Salome Thomas-EL.
2 min read
051223 Lead Sym Caitlynn jb BS
Chris Ferenzi for Education Week