March 24, 2010

Our education secretary

The Chicago Tribune reports on how a "shadowy appeals system" under former Chicago Schools chief-now US Education Secretary Arne Duncan gave preference to the politically connected:

Whispers have long swirled that some children get spots in the city's premier schools based on whom their parents know. But a list maintained over several years in Duncan's office and obtained by the Tribune lends further evidence to those charges. Duncan is now secretary of education under President Barack Obama.

The log is a compilation of politicians and influential business people who interceded on behalf of children during Duncan's tenure. It includes 25 aldermen, Mayor Richard Daley's office, House Speaker Michael Madigan, his daughter Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers and former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

Non-connected parents, such as those who sought spots for their special-needs child or who were new to the city, also appear on the log. But the politically connected make up about three-quarters of those making requests in the documents obtained by the Tribune.

The Chicago Way. Or, as James Taranto states it: "This is 'the aristocracy of pull,' in Ayn Rand's memorable phrase. Its existence is probably inevitable inasmuch as government's is, but its extent can only increase with the power and reach of government."

Posted by Hube at March 24, 2010 06:13 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)