by David Nammo
January 8, 2009
POSITION: Secretary of Education
BIRTH DATE: Nov. 6, 1964
EDUCATION: Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University, Sociology Degree, 1987
FAMILY: Wife, Karen (Australian-American) and two children.
EXPERIENCE: Arne Duncan was born and raised in the Hyde Park, Chicago area. He attended University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He was accepted to Harvard University, where he was co-captain of Harvard’s basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. Mr. Duncan played professional basketball in Australia after graduation from 1987-1991, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.
Duncan moved back to Chicago in 1992 and directed the Ariel Education Initiative, a program to enhance educational opportunities for students on Chicago’s South Side. In 1998, he began working for the Chicago Public Schools and in 2001, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named Duncan as the Chief Executive Officer.
No Child Left Behind
Duncan has called for more flexibility in the No Child Left Behind school accountability law, but does not intend to scrap the initiative entirely.
Gay High School
Arne Duncan approved a proposed gay-friendly Chicago Social Justice High School - Pride Campus. The school would have been committed to affirming homosexuality in adolescents, have been publicly subsidized and included homosexuality-affirming curricula.
Comprehensive Sex Education & Playboy
Chicago Public Schools adopted a comprehensive sex education curricula called passed the Family Life and Comprehensive Sexual Health Education policy in 2006, under Arne Duncan’s leadership. The policy was crafted in coordination with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, according to the Windy City Times, a pro-homosexual website.
The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, a leading group promoting comprehensive sex education, held its Spring 2006 fundraiser at the Playboy mansion.
“Comprehensive sex education” is education-speak for sex education curricula that, among other things, teach students subversive views of sexual conduct, abortion, and homosexuality. Here are some of the topics covered in typical comprehensive sex ed curricula:
- Provides values-based education and offers students the opportunity to explore and define their individual values as well as the values of their families and communities
- Includes a wide variety of sexuality related topics, such as human development, relationships, interpersonal skills, sexual expression, sexual health, and society and culture
- Includes accurate, factual information on abortion, masturbation, and sexual orientation
- Provides positive messages about sexuality and sexual expression, including the benefits of abstinence
- Teaches that proper use of latex condoms, along with water-based lubricants, can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV
- Teaches that religious values can play an important role in an individual’s decisions about sexual expression; offers students the opportunity to explore their own and their family’s religious values
- Teaches that a woman faced with an unintended pregnancy has options: carrying the pregnancy to term and raising the baby, or carrying the pregnancy to term and placing the baby for adoption, or ending the pregnancy with an abortion
Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC)
Duncan worked in promoting the Annenberg Challenge, a radical education group formerly run by Barack Obama and Bill Ayers. The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism.
Charter and Failing Schools
Duncan has earned praises from some quarters for his support of charter schools, his willingness to close failing schools, his support for greater student accountability, and his promotion of merit pay for teachers.
Record of Success
During Duncan’s tenure at Chicago Public Schools, the system spent the second highest amount per individual student in the nation yet only showed a very small improvement improved test scores.