STORE

Obama Education Chief Arne Duncan: Parkland Students ‘Moving This Country’

David Hogg and other students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walk out of school to honor the memories of 17 classmates and teachers that were killed during a mass shooting at the school on March 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The students joined others around the country to mark …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, says the Parkland students promoting gun control are “moving this country in ways [he has] never seen.”

Speaking at the ASU + GSV Summit (Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley) in San Diego, Duncan said the Obama administration “absolutely failed” in achieving more restrictive gun laws while in office.

Duncan, the former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) chief prior to leading the federal education department, bemoaned that his home city “lost a student every two weeks” to gun violence, reports Education Dive.

However, Chicago actually placed a ban on handgun ownership in 1982. The Chicago Tribune reported that over the next ten years, the city saw a 41 percent jump in murders “compared with an 18 percent rise in the entire United States.” The news organization has since warned of the dangers of gun bans.

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Duncan organized a meeting between Chicago high school students and the student activists from Parkland in Broward County.

The Broward school district is run by Superintendent Robert Runcie, who worked for Duncan at CPS. Runcie instituted the PROMISE program in Broward County, supposedly aimed at ending the “school-to-prison pipeline” for minority students by replacing suspension, expulsion, and arrest as consequences for assaultive and threatening behavior with “restorative justice” counseling. Duncan and Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder praised Runcie’s program, likely using it as a national model program for their new “disparate impact” policy.

Duncan is also recruiting incarcerated young men into a job program:

The ASU + GSV Summit is a progressive-led event featuring former Mexico President Vicente Fox, actor Matthew McConaughey, and DACA “dreamer” Andrea Mondragon-Rodriguez as headliners this year.

The Summit, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, the Walton Family Foundation, and education giant Pearson, among others, is focused on student data collection via digital learning, competency-based education, and workforce development, as opposed to classical learning.

The ASU + GSV Summit has also welcomed Jeb Bush and Common Core philanthropist Bill Gates as speakers in the past. Last year, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos addressed the Summit.

.