Education Secretary Arne Duncan breakfasted with ed bloggers the other day. Michele McNeil summarizes on Politics K-12.
RiShawn Biddle on Dropout Nation highlights Duncan’s thoughts on class size.
Class size has been a sacred cow. We have to [put it on the table]. I have two kids. Given the choice between giving them a great teacher working with 28 kids or a mediocre teacher with 23, I’ll take the 28. Why not give the great teacher with 28 kids, $20,000, $25,000 more and give the rest [of the savings] to the district? Parents haven’t been given the choice. We need to have that conversation. Why don’t we have that conversation?
Duncan said, “I’m not for collaboration for collaboration’s sake. Collaboration around the status quo is a real problem. . . . This is not about kumbaya.”
Asked about the standoff in Wisconsin, Duncan said, “You had a union that had been historically more intransigent, but was moving. You don’t want to hit them with a hammer.”
Dana Goldstein has several posts on the meeting.
I was invited but couldn’t make it, so I’ve got a brief meeting scheduled with Duncan next Friday, when I’ll be in D.C.
Actually, we’re flying to Baltimore to visit my stepdaughter and her family, which now includes Lillian Nicole (“Lily”), born March 2. I mentioned a week ago that my stepdaughter had made it through surgery without giving birth at 30 weeks. She made it to 31 weeks. Lily was two pounds, five ounces at birth but otherwise healthy. By the standards of modern medicine — thank you, modern medicine — Lily is only “moderately premature” and expected to go home in a few months or less.