PSAT for 8-23-11: Twitter Arne

From the USDE:

The Department of Education announced today that Secretary Arne Duncan will participate in the first-ever #AskArne Twitter Town Hall on August 24, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Veteran education journalist John Merrow will moderate the town hall that will also be broadcast live on ED’s ustream channel.

Twitter users can submit questions to the Secretary using the hashtag #AskArne.


For Public Schools Action Tuesday today, why not send in a question for Arne? In addition to #AskArne, you can e-mail questions directly to John Merrow at

Here are a few questions I have submitted:

Aside from a vague promise that new Common Core tests will be “better tests,” what specifically will you do to decrease the amount of and emphasis on standardized testing in the US?

You were responsible for marginalizing parent-majority elected, empowered local school councils in Chicago and replacing them with administration-appointed advisory bodies. Beyond proposing an increase in federal parent involvement funds, which will be wasted if spending is not monitored or evaluated, how will you support a stronger parent voice in school decision making, which is an essential component of any effective parent involvement program?

As a parent, it concerns me that you have required states to expand charter schools, increase standardized testing overall, tie teacher jobs to test scores, and turn around schools by firing half or more of the staff, when the overwhelming body of evidence – including that of the research arms of the federal government – is clear that these strategies do not improve academics overall and can have serious negative effects on children and their education. How do you justify promoting such irresponsible policies, and when will you begin to listen to educators and researchers, who are clearly the key experts in this field, and to parents, who are simply trying to protect our children from bad policy making?


Here are a few questions that have already been posted:

Do all American parents have the right to opt their children out of state tests per Prince V Mass, or is it a state by state issue?

What qualifies you to be Secretary of Education? You are not credentialed, you have no education degree, you never taught school.

Why can charter schools hold kids to higher behavior standards, and then boot them for failing to meet them?

Did you know Geoffrey Canada once kicked out an entire class just to raise his graduation numbers?


Post submitted by Julie Woesthoff, PAA-Chicago

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Uncategorized

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