Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Duncan's Task: Carry out 'New Vision': A Supporter of Technology-Based Learning, the New Education Secretary Will Have to Tackle a Host of Serious Issues, Including NCLB

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Duncan's Task: Carry out 'New Vision': A Supporter of Technology-Based Learning, the New Education Secretary Will Have to Tackle a Host of Serious Issues, Including NCLB

Article excerpt

DURING A DEC. 16 SPEECH announcing his pick for the office of secretary of education, Barack Obama called for "a new vision for a 21st-century education system." The then President-elect tasked 44-year-old Harvard graduate Arne Duncan with helping to shape and fulfill that vision. "When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners," explained Obama. "For Arne, school reform isn't just a theory in a book--it's the cause of his life."

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Duncan's seven-year track record as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the nation, provides a strong indication that he is up for the tough job of changing the US public education system for the better. He took action for school and teacher reform, closing down consistently poor-performing schools when needed and reopening them with new staff. The positive results of Duncan's work are apparent not only in the praise he received from students, parents, administrators, and teachers, but also in the numbers: During his tenure as CEO, CPS' dropout rates declined while college enrollment rates rose.

Duncan has also committed to increasing student access to technology. In 2004, he helped launch Renaissance 2010, a project whose stated mission is to open 100 new schools in the district by 2010, with technology integration a priority in each one of them. …

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