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WP: Education Secretary Arne Duncan: Hurricane Katrina helped New Orleans schools


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Man do I wish George W Bush said this :ols:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012903259.html?hpid=topnews

Education Secretary Arne Duncan: Hurricane Katrina helped New Orleans schools

By Nick Anderson

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, January 29, 2010; 6:22 PM

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans" because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from the transcript of a television interview made public Friday afternoon.

Duncan's interview on "Washington Watch With Roland Martin" was scheduled to air Sunday on TV One.

The excerpts, e-mailed to reporters, quoted Duncan as giving an evaluation of the effect of the 2005 hurricane on the city's schools.

Martin was quoted as saying to Duncan: "What's amazing is New Orleans was devastated because of Hurricane Katrina, but because everything was wiped out, in essence, you are building from ground zero to change the dynamics of education in that city."

Duncan was quoted as replying: "It's a fascinating one. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans, and this is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest. I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that 'We have to do better.' And the progress that they've made in four years since the hurricane is unbelievable. They have a chance to create a phenomenal school district. Long way to go, but that -- that city was not serious about its education. Those children were being desperately underserved prior, and the amount of progress and the amount of reform we've seen in a short amount of time has been absolutely amazing."

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It's true, but a stupid thing to say. I mostly agree with you though. It's an insensitive way to state something that probably was meant as an innocent truth.

Our schools, especially in places like pre katrina NO, are "stupid things".

I don't think we need to sugar coat just how bad some places in this country are doing.

I'll take insensitive honesty over smoke being blown up my ass any day.

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Our schools, especially in places like pre katrina NO, are "stupid things".

I don't think we need to sugar coat just how bad some places in this country are doing.

I'll take insensitive honesty over smoke being blown up my ass any day.

Yep, maybe we need more plain speaking

From what my wife said most that came here from there were horribly behind .

It is not race nor income,but rather the attitude towards education.

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I don't know how education isn't our number one goal. Lets just admit as a nation, that our current generations are grossly behind the curve of where we could be and fix that problem first. Parenting and home situations are another major problem, that hinders in the same spirit.

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Sigh. Another case of poor phrasing. There's nothing inherently wrong with the point he was trying to make - it's always hard to change a major school system. We know that around here with DC public schools. Rebuilding offers the chance to at least do some designing from the ground up. Nobody would wish for a hurricane to do that, but the ability to see the tiniest of silver linings after such a huge tragedy isn't something to be criticized.

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