As Education Week points out, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has long been considered an asset for the Obama Administration.
But, Duncan made some incorrect claims recently about the impacts of the pending fiscal sequestration on education around the country, and he is being called out about it – NOT by Republicans, but the not exactly conservative Washington Post!
“…the Washington Post put Duncan through the fact-check ringer—giving him “Four Pinnochios” for his statements about pink slips already going out to teachers, which is what the education secretary told Politics K-12′s Michele and other reporters last week.”
Four Pinocchios (Spelling lesson for the Post, only one “n” but two “c”s in the name) – Ouch!
Getting Pinocchios from the Washington Post – Quadruple Ouch!
“The Post even compared Duncan’s statements to Susan Rice’s comments on Libya, which ultimately doomed her bid for Secretary of State.” Super Ouch!
Bringing this closer to home, I wonder how many panic-inducing claims about the sequester’s impacts on Kentucky’s schools might also be suffering from the Duncan-Pinocchio effect. I seem to recall a few years back we heard all sorts of claims one spring about all the teachers we were going to lose due to supposed funding short-falls. Came the new school year, and hardly anyone lost a job. Maybe a reader can refresh my memory on that.
For sure, we know some districts could be doing their business a lot more economically. We talked about that in our Bang for the Buck 2012 report.
Flip back to page 18 in that report. Ask yourself how come Harlan Independent – even with a 53 percent free and reduced cost school lunch rate – can educate students at $8,639 a piece and get an ACT Composite Score average of 20.9 while Anderson County, with only a 43 percent lunch rate, spends over $3,440 more per pupil and gets a much lower ACT Composite Score of 18.3?
In any event, it looks like the nation’s head educator got himself caught, right by his growing nose, smack in the center of the sequester tornado. Given the amount of wind constantly being generated in Washington, a Washington “tornado” can be a really dangerous place to be!