Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had some harsh words for one of his boss’ rivals, saying in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt that Texas Governor Rick Perry has overseen a subpar school system that hasn’t adequately served that state’s students.”Texas has really struggled, and I feel very, very badly for the children there,” Duncan said in the interview.
Citing increases in class size and funding cuts, Duncan said that the state’s schools have suffered under Perry’s watch.
“It doesn’t serve the children well,” Duncan said. “It doesn’t serve the state well. It doesn’t serve the state’s economy well. And ultimately, it hurts the country.”
In June, Perry signed a budget that slashed around $4 billion in education spending. He also declined to take part in Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, saying it, “could very well lead to the ‘dumbing down'” of Texas’ students.
Texas’ 61.3 per cent graduation rate ranks 43rd in the nation, according to the Legislative Budget Board’s 2010 Texas Fact Book.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner told Bloomberg that Duncan’s comments were off-base.
“The President’s Secretary of Education may want to do a little homework before commenting on education in Texas,” Miner said. “Under Governor Perry, Texas has been a national leader in adopting college and career-ready curriculum standards that will ensure Texas students graduate prepared to succeed in college and the workplace.”
The full interview will air Friday at 9PM on Bloomberg TV.