Duncan's model: Sonia Sotomayor's mother

“We need more parents like Sonia Sotomayor’s mother,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged in a speech to the National Council of La Raza in Chicago. From Learning the Language:

In the July 28 speech, he said, “We need more parents like Sonia Sotomayor’s mother, who said, ‘You will study hard and you will succeed at college and you will graduate — even if I have to work six days a week to make it happen.’ “

Mrs. Sotomayor worked six days a week to send her children to Catholic school.

Duncan made a plug for bilingualism and stated his support for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or “DREAM Act,” which if enacted would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools and serve in the military or go to college.

But he didn’t discuss what education policies he thinks would help English Learners or Hispanic students do better in school.

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  1. Marshall says:

    The Secretary of Education says that we need more parents that work overtime so that they can afford to enroll their kids in private schools.

    Did I read that right?

  2. Ragnarok says:

    No, he was saying that we could do with more parents who’re involved in their kids’ education, and are willing to make sacrifices.

  3. That might not be what he meant to say, but it sounds like good advice to me.

  4. Michael E. Lopez says:

    I agree with Marshall… it sounded like we need more parents who are aware that the public schools in most urban areas are crap.

  5. Kevin Smith says:

    Since he is ed secretary for a president who is on record as supporting vouchers and charter schools he may very well have meant just that.

  6. Kevin Smith says:

    I work with a widow who started out as a teacher assistant, got her four year degree, her masters, and is now director of our alternative school. All three of her sons (the oldest was 7 when the father died) graduated in the top ten in their class and gone on to academic scholarships, the youngest starts at NC State in a week. She is very strict and makes no bones about her expectations with her sons. She ruled out friends, clothes, and music for them that she didn’t approve of regularly. If there were subjects she couldn’t help them with in school she found someone who could (she had me helping the youngest with science projects as fat back as 7th grade). I find this all pretty impressive in a black widow in the South. If these are the kinds of parents Duncan is after I agree with him.

  7. Richard Cook says:

    Anything out of Duncan’s mouth is suspect. He is a graduate of the Chicago Way. Look at actions and not words.

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    Seems what he is saying is that it’s a terrific idea to avoid public schools–at least in large urban areas–if you want your kid to succeed.
    Considering his last job and its results, I’d say he knows whereof he speaks.