I was surprised that of all the things one could criticize Rick Perry about Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chose the quality of Texas schools. They’re not great but nowhere near the nation’s worst. And they do compare favorably with Chicago’s schools so it seemed an odd choice of ground to fight on. In any event, I asked Duncan about this during an interview for next week’s School of Thought column at TIME. Here’s how it went:
Why is Arne Duncan messing with Texas? I asked the Secretary of Education about this a few hours after he injected himself into the presidential-election scrum. Policy wonks like me had woken up to baffling reports that Duncan told Bloomberg Television’s Al Hunt that the Texas school system “has really struggled” under Rick Perry, the GOP governor who just announced he is running for President. “Far too few of their high school graduates are actually prepared to go on to college,” Duncan said in the TV interview, which is scheduled to air this weekend, telling Hunt that he feels “very, very badly for the children there.”
When I asked Duncan about this dire assessment in an interview I had scheduled today for my next School of Thought column, the former head of the Chicago school system was light on specifics…
You want specifics? Click this link and read the entire column over at TIME.