Monday, December 15, 2008

Duncan a Consensus Choice: Obama Retains Tension between Competing Policy Camps

The Associated Press today reports in an article that Arne Duncan, selected to lead the Education Department in the Obama administration, is a consensus pick whose selection avoids picking sides between the two educational policy reform camps.

Obama managed throughout his campaign to avoid taking sides in the contentious debate between reform advocates and teachers' unions over the direction of education and the fate of President Bush's No Child Left Behind accountability law.

"Duncan's selection may satisfy both factions. Reform advocates wanted a big-city school superintendent who, like Duncan, has sought accountability for schools and teachers. And teachers' unions, an influential segment of the party base, wanted an advocate for their members; they have said they believe Duncan is willing to work with them.

Duncan deliberately straddled the factions earlier this year when he signed competing manifestos from each side of the debate."

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