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Friedman: Negotiating with Putin, Netanyahu would be easy compared to Chicago Teachers Union. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-12 12:51 AM
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Friedman: Negotiating with Putin, Netanyahu would be easy compared to Chicago Teachers Union.
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Thomas Friedman today seemed to say that Education Secretary Arne Duncan would be a great Secretary of State because he survived negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union.

He claims he is not really serious, but it is so ludicrous to even mention it. It is rather insulting to teachers also.

He implies that Arne Duncan can be considered a leading authority on the world's education. In my mind Arne Duncan is a tool of the Billionaire Boys' Club who are taking over our schools.

I have to assume he is serious, otherwise he would have labeled it satire.

My Secretary of State

Lets start with the obvious. A big part of the job is negotiating. Well, anyone who has negotiated with the Chicago Teachers Union, as Duncan did when he was superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools before going to Washington, would find negotiating with the Russians and Chinese a day at the beach. A big part of being secretary of education (and secretary of state) is getting allies and adversaries to agree on things they normally wouldnt and making them think that it was all their idea. Trust me, if you can cut such deals with Randi Weingarten, who is president of the American Federation of Teachers, you can do them with Vladimir Putin and Bibi Netanyahu.

..." To have a secretary of state who is one of the worlds leading authorities on education, well, everyone would want to talk to him. For instance, it would be very helpful to have a secretary of state who can start a negotiating session with Hamas leaders (if we ever talk with them) by asking: Do you know how far behind your kids are? That might actually work better than: Why dont you recognize Israel?

There is an interesting post in the Comments section

"As we are seeing in Egypt, suddenly creating a mass democracy without improving mass education is highly unstable."

You bought the propaganda line. That's nonsense.

Egypt did vastly improve mass education, and that is where the mass democracy movement came from. That vegetable cart guy in Tunisia who started this by burning himself had a college engineering degree, and no hope of using it. That is true all across the Arab world. What illiteracy there remains is the old generation, whose children and grandchildren we educated because that older generation made a real effort to get them educated.

They don't lack education. That is just what their enemies slime them with.

Whatever Friedman was trying to say, he did not say it very well.

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