12:14 PM, Oct 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As the Soviet Union maintained Dachas for the nomenklatura, so our Park Service keeps a nice little “cabin” in the Tetons for use by the political class, as revealed by some diligent muckraking by Time.
Vice President Joe Biden is among the administration officials who have enjoyed the comforts of the
… the Brinkerhoff Lodge [which] was built in 1947 by the family of Zachary Brinkerhoff, a prominent Wyoming oil company executive. It features a two-story living room, a full-length deck, Western-style chandeliers and interior walls lined with log or knotty pine paneling.
The Park Service now runs this austere little shack:
Located on the banks of Jackson Lake with views of the glacier-strewn peak of Mount Moran …
Government official who stay there – with their families – are required to be doing some sort of “official business.” Easily accomplished, of course, if you are Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who:
… stayed there for six nights with his wife and children in 2013. He attended a nearby roundtable with tribal leaders and an event at a local school, according to the Department of Education.
And education in America is now vastly the better for it. Still, Duncan was supposed to have paid those additional costs “incurred” by the presence of family. This is one of those rules that seems to be administered according to some sort of wink-wink protocol, understood only by those in the government. That is to say, not administered at all until a snoop from Time comes around asking. Now:
A spokesperson for the Department of Education says the park service “never conveyed” to Duncan that he would have to pay for the non-official portion of his family’s nearly week-long stay. “Secretary Duncan requested an invoice for his family’s stay and will reimburse the park fully for the time he was on personal leave,” the official said.
Among those who have found a way to commit “public service” amid the glories of the Tetons are:
Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson [who] stayed three nights in 2011 with her husband, and five other people, including a person listed as a friend. She received a tour of a new air quality monitoring station, according to a park official.
Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood [who] traveled there in 2012 for eight nights with his wife, his daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, two other adults and his son, Illinois State Sen. Darin LaHood. He attended the Department of Transportation grant award event, according to LaHood’s office.
Read the whole thing.
12:15 PM, Nov 17, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There is widespread opposition to the latest federal initiative aimed at improving education in this country.
"If you have a high school diploma, there’s almost nothing for you."1:39 PM, Aug 22, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, on Air Force One en route to New York for the president's education bus tour, had some strong words to say about the prospects of those who don't graduate from high school, and also about those who complete high school but do not go on to college.
Apr 1, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 28 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook doesn’t spend a lot of its time surfing tired bureaucratic websites that look like relics of the 1990s, but our interest was piqued last week by a quotation on the “Kids’ Zone” page of the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics: “Our attitude towards ourselves should be ‘to be satiable [sic] in learning’ and towards others ‘to be tireless in teaching.’ ”
10:45 AM, Feb 28, 2012 • By JOY PULLMAN
A strongly-worded statement from Education Secretary Arne Duncan last week revealed his distaste for federalism, since it undermines his goal of having all states agree to one set of education standards.
. . . against the Obama administration.1:30 PM, Oct 27, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Last week, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate forged an unlikely alliance when they agreed in committee on a rewrite of the federal education authorization law. Both liberal Democrat Tom Harkin and conservative Republican Mike Enzi crafted the bill, which promises to limit the federal mandates put forth originally in No Child Left Behind.
But Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who has been pushing hard for Congress to pass education reauthorization, isn't fully pleased with the result.
11:40 AM, Aug 9, 2011 • By JOY PULLMAN
The president has decided to take a tack on the largest federal education law he certainly wishes were available in budget battles: bypassing Congress and legislating through administrative agencies by offering states waivers in exchange for education policies he favors.
11:45 AM, Aug 8, 2011 • By JOY PULLMANN
Recently, Education Secretary Arne Duncan no doubt thought it radical to say that teachers should get a $60,000 yearly starting salary and top out around $150,000. He’s hoping this could shift teaching from attracting undergraduates at the middle or low ends of their classes, as it does now, to attracting high-performers who are evaluated, pushed, and paid accordingly.
12:05 PM, May 26, 2011 • By JOY PULLMAN
A coalition of right-leaning education reformers have recently and sharply broken with the growing federal influence Republicans and Democrats have broadly supported in recent decades. This edusphere tussle connects education to the wider debate Americans (evinced most loudly by Tea Party supporters) have rejoined on the scope and centralization of government power and how it shapes American identity.
1:21 PM, Mar 2, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
“No continuing resolution to fund the government that fails to reduce spending will pass,” Alabama senator Jeff Sessions said yesterday at an education spending hearing. “It won’t pass the House or the Senate. We are going to fight for spending cuts this week, next week, next month, and next year.”
The hearing’s sole witness, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, was just as determined in his defense of the education budget requests made by the administration.
12:22 PM, Feb 16, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
So says the New York Post, which reports that Education secretary Arne Duncan edited a speech so that he wouldn't be criticizing the controversial "last in, first out" employment in a speech to teachers' union members in Denver:
Good for thee, not for me.11:53 AM, Sep 29, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
President Obama was asked recently about "Waiting for 'Superman,'" the Davis Guggenheim documentary about public education which depicts a handful of qualified inner-city students competing for a limited number of spaces in charter schools.
"Waiting for 'Superman'" premiere highlights D.C.'s public school woes.11:59 AM, Sep 16, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The new documentary Waiting for "Superman", which premiered last night at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., follows several American students in suffering school districts and the reformers trying to fight and change the education system. But it was Michelle Rhee, the chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools and one of the film's subjects, who vocalized perhaps what many in the audience had been thinking during the screening.
An educational opportunity.12:00 AM, Mar 25, 2010 • By GARY ANDRES
President Obama missed a host of opportunities to remedy Washington’s fever of polarization during the health care debate. Instead of forging a bipartisan coalition and ratcheting back the campaign-style rhetoric, he agreed to a one-party strategy and consistently demonized his opponents with over the top rhetoric.
Mr. Obama also falsely raised citizens’ expectations that one bill or a new government program could remedy all that ails us. Government is no wonder drug. It cannot deliver all the life altering promises on the president’s wish list.