Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Educational Reform

Obama has selected Arne Duncan to be his education secretary. I never heard of him before, but his general reputation is as an effective, non-ideological education reformer, who has most recently been heading up the Chicago school system.

Each pick Obama makes for his cabinet makes clearer his centrist, pragmatic, non-ideological orientation. This is, again, one of the reasons I really liked him from the first. He has clear, worthy goals, but he is willing to look around for the best means to achieve those goals. He is not wedded to the ideologies of 'left' or 'right', but is a part of what has been called 'the vital center.' This includes openness to the diversity of educational institutions, including public, private, charter, religous, etc, which is of course a hallmark of the American way of education from the very outset of our history as a nation.

Not only is this approach more likely to achieve the goals, but it is also more likely to create a political coalition in the center of the American political spectrum that will provide the political support he will need.

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