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‘When Adults Fight, Kids Lose,’ Says Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

‘When Adults Fight, Kids Lose,’ Says Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan retired from the position after seven years in office, leaving the seat to be filled by current acting Secretary John. B King.

Duncan, who worked in Chicago schools before working as Secretary, discussed with Chicago Tonight what he thinks should happen for the currently beleaguered Chicago Public Schools.

The biggest issue the school system has, he said, is because of an inadequate funding formula--something that riddles many school systems nationwide.

"The crux of the issue is that Illinois' funding of public education is broken...Relative to other states, Illinois has some of the largest disparities between wealthier school districts and poorer school districts. You have as little as $7,000 being spent in some communities in Illinois, in other communities $22,000,” he said to Chicago Tonight.

"It is morally bankrupt, it is educational malpractice. That's where every adult needs to put aside egos and politics, and let's fix this, and let's invest in every child – yes in Chicago, but across the state,” Duncan said.

This stands by one of the major philosophies Duncan held during his time in office--that inequality is rampant in education, and that the federal government has a responsibility to step in and fix it.

When discussing the contract negotiations between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union that could potentially lead to CPS’s second teacher strike in a short time, Duncan was clear on who the real enemy is in the battle.

“The enemy here is not the teachers or the teachers’ union or the Board of Education, the enemy here is Springfield ...I just wish, again, adults in Chicago would unite to fight the real battle, the real war with an unequal funding system coming out of Springfield,” Duncan said.

“Clearly the adult relationships are pretty dysfunctional.. When adults fight, kids lose.”

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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