Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Duncan’s Confirmation Hearing

I caught small bits of Duncan’s confirmation hearing here this morning. He focused on his own feel-good story of growing up as an assistant in his mother's inner-city tutoring program. As far as substance, which there wasn't much time for between the praise the senators heaped upon him, he spoke about teacher recruitment, merit pay for teachers, and the "extraordinary" challenges of creating better schools.

The big disappointment is how little focus there was on higher education and frankly how little Duncan knows about higher education. In response to one question about using federal work-study funds to support tutoring programs for low-income students, he said that he had just learned about the federal work-study program and that he needs to learn more. Definitely.

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