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What Chicago Is Saying About Arne

By Michele McNeil — December 16, 2008 1 min read
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The Chicago-area media, bloggers, and educators may know Arne Duncan best, so I’ve summed up their coverage below:

The Chicago Tribune notes that Obama didn’t let the Illinois corruption scandal with Gov. Rod Blagojevich get in the way of Duncan’s pick. The article describes Duncan as a “renegade” who backed such ideas as boarding schools and a gay-friendly high school. And the writer reminds us that all is not rosy—that a glaring achievement gap still exists.

The Chicago Sun-Times, in a commentary, says Duncan earned his stripes in Chicago. Meanwhile, Sun-Times reporter and blogger Lynn Sweet says Duncan had well-connected boosters within the Obama inner circle.

Chicago’s NPR station talks to a former city teachers’ union president, who isn’t as effusive in her praise as others seem to be.

Catalyst Chicago details Duncan’s track record, with a healthy, skeptical eye, especially toward high school reform efforts. Duncan gets high marks for making public a “treasure trove” of student data, but is dinged for not being more transparent on CPS spending.

Phyllis Lockett, President & CEO of The Renaissance Schools Fund, the
strategic partner to the Chicago Public Schools for Renaissance 2010, said in a statement:

Under Arne Duncan's leadership, the Chicago Public Schools district has pursued an unprecedented effort to open new schools of exceptional quality in our highest need communities. Arne had the courage to close schools that were not performing, and has helped to develop a pipeline of strong education entrepreneurs in Chicago. He is an innovator and his leadership has encouraged Chicago's business community to invest significant resources in new schools development.

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