Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits Longfellow

Arne Duncan visiting an 8th-grade class at Berkeley's Longfellow school. Photo: Baechler-Brabo.

By Lea Baechler-Brabo

It was a busy Friday for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but he found the time to make his way to an 8th grade algebra classroom at Longfellow Middle School.

On his stop in Berkeley, together with U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, he heard from students that “my teachers really care about me” and from teachers that “we have high expectations for all of our students”.

Duncan, who was CEO of Chicago Public Schools before President Obama selected him as Secretary of Education, has spearheaded the $4 billion Race to the Top initiative, a federal government effort to spur innovation and change in the nation’s public schools. California is not one of the 11 states to qualify for Race to the Top funds.

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  • TFT

    Arne Duncan never taught in a school. He never worked in a school.

    He believes in privatizing public schools, as he has shown.

    Don’t be fooled. Take back your schools.

  • Claudia

    Be nice to know WHY Duncan and Lee chose Longfellow for their visit.

  • TFT

    Heavily black population and a black principal? It’s a marketing scam.

  • Christina McWilson

    The chose it because the children wrote in and asked the Secretary to come to Longfellow in Berkeley (not Oakland – which has much of the same if not more minorities). When the Congresswoman found out he was considering going to visit them.. she decided to go to and then have him also go out to Merritt College. Education issues do not get big marketing.. sex drugs and rock n’ roll do!

  • LF teach

    actually, it was because we (Longfellow) have made incredible gains in algebra scores- particularly with kids of color.  Our scores with African-American kids have gone up 45% in the last 5 years.