Saturday, April 03, 2010

From Arne's Desk

For obvious reasons, there isn't much humor in the education reform debate (war?) – so this hilarious piece from The Education Gadfly is especially appreciated!

From Arne's Desk
Earlier this week, The Education Gladfly gained access to a confidential memo from Education Secretary Arne Duncan to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel about the first round of Race to the Top. Due to its obvious implications for education policy, we reproduce it here in full.

TO:                  Rahm Emmanuel
FROM:            Arne Duncan
DATE:             March 30, 2010
RE:                  Race to the Top Round 1 Winners

I appreciate your interest in our Race to the Top competition. As you requested during our phone call "check-in" yesterday, here is an explanation of our rationale for spending $600 million on "two s---hole states with 14 f---ing electoral votes between them," and for not funding states "that we actually give a rat's a-- about."

South Carolina had a strong application except for its "cultural exchanges with Argentina pilot program," which cost them big-time. As for our home state of Illinois, this was a case of slightly too much stakeholder support; whoever decided to get Blagojevich to sign on to the application is a blooming idiot.

The toughest call was Rhode Island. I really wanted to give them a grant, what with all they're doing to push the reform ball forward. But as you probably know, the Secret Service signaled that they can no longer risk letting the President travel to Providence to promote the award. Kabul in the dark is one thing, but those Central Falls teachers are really pissed, and they don't play games. (One of my predecessors aptly termed their union a "terrorist organization.")

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