TIME ran an excerpt of my Arne Duncan interview last week – the part about Rick Perry and Texas schools. Here’s the full interview including the Secretary on waivers, poverty, teachers unions, RTT implementation issues, problems in college sports, education spending (and how he showed Iowa religion on pre-K), and whether the administration’s initiatives are durable enough to survive if the President is not reelected next year.
A couple of items:
How do you respond to critics who say that linking waivers to conditions [such as improving teacher evaluations or data systems] goes beyond the authority you have under the law?
Secretary Spellings had waiver authority and used it. We’re doing the same thing, and we’re absolutely confident in our legal authority. I know not everyone in Congress is thrilled, but I’ve talked to 45 or 46 governors, almost every governor, Republican, Democrat, everyone is saying, “At least someone in Washington is listening to the real world.” Haley Barbour in Mississippi said, “Thank God someone is listening.” There isn’t one governor saying, “I’m not interested” or “Why are you doing this?”
You’re a former college athlete. College sports scandals are in the news lately, Ohio State and now Miami. How big of a problem do we have in college athletics?
You have to have consequences. And not only historically has there been no consequence for bad behavior, there has actually been lots of incentives for bad behavior. If you do the wrong thing, you hurt kids but you win more games and leave a program in ruins as you catapult to the next job and get a salary increase.
What about the states? Are you going to be pushing them to do more with less?
…For instance, Iowa was thinking about cutting back on early-childhood spending, and I challenged them not to do that. The governor, to his credit, came out a couple of days afterward and said they were maintaining their commitment to early-childhood education.
So would you pull Race to the Top money from a state?
Absolutely. No question. But as long as folks are working hard in good faith, I’m good with that.