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Duncan Offers “Technical Assistance”

July 3, 2013

Diane Ravitch and Randi Weingarten sent Arne Duncan a letter asking him to weigh in on the crisis in Philadelphia Schools. As reported in a link to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s on-line newspaper provided in Diane Ravitch’s blog, Arne’s response was to “…urge everyone involved to continue working together to avert this educational crisis” and to offer “…any needed technical assistance to both the district and the commonwealth”. Sorry, Arne, this response falls short. Philadelphia schools need money. They’ve been shortchanged for a decade and the budget adopted by the state will make the public school system in Philadelphia worse than any in the nation. The Philadelphia crisis is a teachable moment. It provides you and the Obama administration with an opportunity to decry short-sighted legislators who embrace the ALEC agenda, mayors who strip the elected school board of its authority, and politicians of all stripes who want to balance budgets on the backs of school children and poor parents. Encouraging mean-spirited and contentious politicians to “continue to work together” and offering “technical assistance” implicitly endorses the funding decisions by the state and city. Maybe your boss, Mr. Obama, will use his oratorical skills to drive home the message that education is an investment and not a government burden.

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