Tuesday, January 13, 2009

DeMint praises Obama's Education pick

In a joint op-ed with fellow Senator John Cornyn, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint offers support and advice for incoming secretary of education, Arne Duncan.

The recent selection of Arne Duncan to be the next Secretary of Education is an encouraging sign to supporters of public education reform. The Chicago Public School chief is known as a tough reformer who supports holding schools accountable for results and boosting performance by promoting new strategies like improving merit pay. Like the President-elect, Arne Duncan supports charter schools - public schools that are held to high standards but given the freedom to innovate and offer new learning models to serve diverse populations of students.

(Ea.) Duncan testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee in 2006, urging increased flexibility and local control in No Child Left Behind -- something conservatives have been championing for a loooooooong time (that's how Carrie Bradshaw says "long". Rewatch Sex and the City. Did you know that Carrie's a centaur, except she has the face of a horse and the body of a woman. That's called a "Sarah Jessica Parker").

The preceding gives DeMint and Cornyn the impetus to reintroduce a bill advocating just such reforms:

.... we will be reintroducing the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act. Our plan gives states the option to sign 5-year performance agreements with the Secretary of Education that allow the state to accept NCLB funding while opting out of the NCLB requirements.