Arne Duncan and President Obama are now trying to force Charter schools and mandated testing down the throats of schools in US states. California, the most ungovernable state in the nation, is trying to reconcile whether it really wants money from Obama's "Race to the top" program, with its onerous and counterproductive mandates, in exchange for what amounts to less than one percent of the money the state will spend on schools. The history of Charters are stuffed with one failure after another - corruption, mismanagement, and inferior educational attainment. The only reason anyone would want more Charters would be to intentionally destroy public education or to defund teachers' unions.
As I've written before, every few years some new administration in Washington or in the states comes up with new mandates and incentives for "reforming" public education, even though the carrots or incentives offered really add up to nothing, and the rules proposed basically only provide punishment for those already hurting. It is deeply disappointing, but not surprising, that the Obama administration would continue this hurtful pattern.
I hope the Californians raise up their collective spine and tell Obama and Duncan to mind their own business, quit working with disgraced Republicans like Newt Gringrich to destroy public education, and shove their pittance "Race" money up their collective asses.
UPDATE: Excellent piece in Counterpunch by David Macaray titled Education's Dismal Cycle: When in doubt, just blame the teachers.