Arne Duncan’s 2014 Commencement Address at Arizona State University


Last year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan presented the following commencement address at Arizona State University. Like most previous Secretaries of Education, Duncan has neither been a teacher nor a school administrator. Worse, I believe that he is the only member of President Obama’s Cabinet who does not have a graduate degree. So, it should come as little surprise that he places so little value on professional teacher education and on collective bargaining by professionally credentialed teachers. In fact, in this commencement address, he provides an overview of how he came to be involved in public education and of how he eventually rose to his current position. But he presents his story as if it is an emblematic American narrative, rather than a completely incongruous turn of events.

This commencement address is also of interest because, beyond all of the substantive accomplishments of the faculty and the students at Arizona…

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