Arne Duncan, the dynamic education secretary plucked by President Obama from the Chicago public school system, doesn't mind giving credit where credit is due.
In an interview with The Atlantic's Bob Cohn at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Duncan says he will always give the Bush administration credit for "shining a spotlight on the achievement gap" in education with No Child Left Behind. "Those differences used to get swept under the rug. That will never happen again, and they deserve enormous credit for that.
That said, Duncan has ambitious plans for changing how things work. He wants to implement international education standards in America, and he tells us there's momentum building behind his initiative. He wants to turn No Child Left Behind on its head by implementing tighter goals and fewer restrictions on how to get there.
He's slated to hold education events with Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton this fall to talk about racial achievement gaps in education. When asked what that's going to be like, Duncan says, "It'll be fascinating. I'll probably run around and scalp tickets for the events before they start."