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Arne Duncan’s Children Were Never Exposed to Common Core

July 11, 2015

I have read in the past where US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stated that his own children attend public school.

Wow. What a good selling point for Duncan, pusher of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), associated consortium assessments, and test-score-driven reform in general.

However, let us consider the details behind the Duncan children’s “public school” attendance. The information below is from an April 2009 Ed Notes Online article:

When asked this question: As the second education secretary with school-aged kids, where does your daughter go to school, and how important was the school district in your decision about where to live?

Duncan replied: She goes to Arlington [Virginia] public schools. That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.

(Arlington Public Schools QuickFacts include the following: 31 schools, 23 of which are elementary schools; average teacher salary: $79,579; teachers with a masters degree: 79%; cost per pupil: $18,616; Arlington median household income: $106,400; per capita income: $85,900; Arlington residents’ highest level of education: bachelors, 71.7%; graduate degrees, 37.4%– not sure how this totals more than 100%; 2014 on-time graduation rate: 92%.)

The Ed Notes Online article appeared only two months before Duncan began to publicly push CCSS and the consortium assessments that he said the feds would pay for (at the June 2009 National Governors Association Symposium).

But get this: Virginia never adopted CCSS. Duncan lives in Virginia; his children attend school in Virginia.

Duncan’s own “public school”-attending children have never been under the CCSS and consortium assessments that Duncan has forcefully promoted for almost his entire tenure as US secretary of education.

So now, as Duncan’s popular-on-the-Hill stint as US secretary of education draws to its end, the Duncans are moving back to Chicago, where public education is a mess and where Duncan has played a direct role in creating that mess as a former CEO of Chicago Public Schools– and where he did business with CCSS “lead writer” David Coleman way back in 2001. (See my book, Common Core Dilemma–Who Owns Our Schools? for details.)

And since the Duncan children will be enrolled in the University of Chicago Lab School, they will continue to dodge CCSS and all of the rest of the havoc their father has wreaked on the public education experiences of Other People’s Children nationwide.

Yes, America, Duncan is a hypocrite for failing the biggest test of his US Sec career by promoting educational environments to which his own children were not exposed.

But he is not alone. Obama and Gates are right there with him, as this excellent July 10, 2015, posting on the Daily Caller details so well:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s wife has moved to Chicago so the couple’s two daughters can attend the University of Chicago Lab School, arguably the most elite private school in Chicago — and certainly among the most expensive.

Duncan has led the Department of Education since the outset of President Barack Obama’s administration. He will shuttle between Washington and Chicago for the remainder of Obama’s second term, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The former chief executive of the Chicago Public Schools has been a forceful cheerleader for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a set of K-12 math and language arts curriculum benchmarks and high-stakes standardized tests now being used in public schools in most states. (RELATED: Arne Duncan Blames ‘White Suburban Moms’ For Common Core Pushback)

Duncan’s family moved into a home in an affluent area in northern Virginia when he became education secretary in 2009. His children attended public schools there in the intervening years. However, Virginia is not a Common Core state.

With the move back to Chicago and enrollment at the fancypants Lab School, Duncan’s children will be even further removed from the national standards.

High school tuition at the Lab School is $30,618 annually.

For the rest of the Daily Caller article, click here.

Note that the Daily Caller highlights info on the schools that the Obama and Gates children attend. Let me add that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sends his own children to the University of Chicago Lab School, which he has told the press is a private decision even as he has pushed the Chicago Public Schools to adopt test-score-driven reforms that do not touch the world of the Lab School.

Privilege has its privileges. Hypocrisy is apparently one of them.

do as i say


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, newly published on June 12, 2015.

both books



  1. Zorba permalink

    Reblogged this on Politicians Are Poody Heads.

  2. Zorba permalink

    Ah, hypocrisy. “Good enough for your kids, but not for my kids.”

  3. Just Curious permalink

    Here’s a question:

    Why did Virginia not adopt Common Core and did Duncan play any role in that decision?

    • Virginia was one of five states that just said no. I don’t think Duncan had any say. I don’t think he had the influence to have any say in May 2009, when states were signing on.

  4. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    You got it. And C-SPAN will be doing more of this …Privilege has its privileges. Hypocrisy is apparently one of them. See the program announcement for this Sunday 8:30 pm with two spokespersons on the reauthorization of ESEA. (Diane Ravitch has the link)

  5. Reblogged this on stopcommoncorenys.

  6. Ken Watanabe permalink

    What a plot. He can even create his movie titled “I AM LEGEND: the Horror of Duncannibalism” (2016). All but his children are immune to the CC virus across the nation.

  7. Andrea Lancer permalink

    The really sad thing is that politicians are allowed to get away with being hypocrits these days. They used to believe it was necessary to at least give the appearance of having integrity.

  8. Christine Langhoff permalink

    “My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.”

    Save the country’s children? The man is delusional!

  9. Reblogged this on Sumo Sacerdote and commented:
    What a mess is made when we remove children from the home and leave their education to strangers.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The American public is tired of the reign of Duncan. | stopcommoncorenys
  2. Mercedes Schneider: Arne Duncan’s Children Were Never Exposed to Common Core | Diane Ravitch's blog
  3. The American public is done with Duncan. | stopcommoncorenys
  4. America is done with Duncan. | stopcommoncorenys
  5. 2015 Medley #22 | Live Long and Prosper
  6. Arne Duncan in Pittsburgh, Selling Low Common Core Test Scores - Oroola
  7. As Duncan Promotes Low Common Core Scores, States Continue To Run For The Exits - Stop Common Core NCStop Common Core NC
  8. Arne Duncan’s Exit: Not Unexpected - Dr. Rich Swier
  9. Trump Whisperer Kellyanne Conway Snubbed by DC Private Schools | deutsch29

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