Duncan Dodges Cold Iron Shackles And A Ball And Chain?

More big news out of Tennessee this week.  First Kevin Huffman becomes state commissioner and now YES Prep founder Chris Barbic is going to run the state’s Achievement School District (Discs – Bellwether did the search for the job and has done strategy work for YES).  It’s a big win for the state.  But bigger winner? Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Only a handful of Race to the Top winners seem really poised to deliver out-sized results – Tennessee is one of them – and this team ups the odds of a good story out of Tennessee that much more.

Also in the coming and goings department, Paul Pastorek is going to be missed, he did a great job in LA.

11 Replies to “Duncan Dodges Cold Iron Shackles And A Ball And Chain?”

  1. Let me see if I understand.

    You were hired by the state of Tennessee to conduct an independent search for a school district leader and you recommended the founder of a school who pays your salary.

    Don’t you think there is a conflict of interest in this recommendation?

  2. Don’t you think there is a conflict of interest in this recommendation?

    Just like Richard Cheney selecting himself for vice president.

    No, Mr. Rotherham doesn’t see a conflict of interest.
    They are just looking after one another.

    I wonder what Mr. Huffman is going to do about the new requirement that Tenn. schools give creationism equal time.

  3. Not-under-the-employ-of-any-scurvy-billionaires:

    Ah yes, should I do this before or after you reply to the other thread?

    eduwonk . com/2011/05/political-maze.html#comment-220604

    Of course, if I’m going to be summoned to a thread I never posted in — and only hours after the first comment from someone who devalues honest debate before even reading past his handle — perhaps others could follow-up on any past dropped discussions?

  4. Your turn….

    I’ve responded, but I’m not changing my name.

    I think its appropriate given the fact that the Gates foundation, the Wallace foundation and Broad foundation are driving education policy in this country.

    I think it is important to disclose who owns you. I am not owned by anyone. Bellwether on the other hand, has received a $300,000 charitable donation on their latest tax return. They also blacked out the name of the donor. Maybe it was Chris Barbic, we will never know.

  5. Not-owned-by-Exxon-Mobil:

    I am overjoyed at your generosity of allowing me a full 2 days to write my response, and I express my sincere gratitude for your not being too overbearing in asking for a timelier reply. You will find a response addressed to you in the other thread, proofread thrice and awaiting a thorough read. Please accept my deepest apologies for making you wait a couple days for a response to your comment on an education blog. In the future, I will be sure to better manage my ever-shifting work schedule to accommodate your pressing desire to read my contributions to any online debates.

    No fooling: I find your comments irrational and think you make a weak case for the arguments you’ve proffered. As a lesson for Cal and other commenters who are like him, I’m going to do what they ought to but seldom do and continue to respond in efforts to add to the discussion, since I know that flatly asserting that you are wrong/inept/”unable to read” — or leveling other sleazy claims about your background or motivations — is about as worthless of a response as silence (and maybe more so), and we sure get a lot of both here and elsewhere in the edu-blogosphere.

    With that said, I want to emphasize the fact that noting where an individual gets his/her funding does not imply that person is “owned” by such entity. School reform is being driven by many passionate people with a different take on how to fix our schools — it’s not just money talking. Your continued refrain of assuming bad-faith on the part of reformers, particularly with the really pathetic use of a comment handle, is not making your case any stronger. And I will mock it accordingly.

  6. Smyr,

    You didn’t actually address this issue.

    Isn’t there a conflict of interest in running an independent job search and recommending someone who is paying you for consulting services?

  7. Because it’s about as much of an issue as the bad-faith nonsense you were suggesting before.

    The disclosure doesn’t state that Bellwether was receiving compensation at the time the search was made, so that gives a succinct answer to your question: No. Not every conflict of interest requires recusal, either; Tennessee was likely aware of the disclosure as given in this blog post.

  8. It should have gone before a conflict of interest board and it did not.

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