2012年12月9日 星期日

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education




專欄作者

我力挺阿恩·鄧肯出任國務卿

奧巴馬總統正在組建新的國家安全團隊,約翰·克里參議員(John Kerry)可能入主五角大樓,美國駐聯合國大使蘇珊·賴斯(Susan Rice)被認為是國務卿的最熱門人選。對國防部而言,克里是個優秀的人選。我完全不認識賴斯,所以我不知道她是否適合這份工作,但我認為,抓住她在利比 亞事件上的言論而作的牽強文章,肯定不應當剝奪她的資格。雖說如此,我心中的國務卿人選是現任教育部長阿恩·鄧肯(Arne Duncan)。
對,對,我知道。鄧肯並沒有試圖得到這份工作,而且根本不可能獲得任命。但是,我要提名他,因為我認為現在是提出一個問題的重要時機,這個問題並不是誰應當做國務卿,而是21世紀的國務卿應當是怎樣的?
首先從明顯的地方說起。這份工作的一大部分是談判。就此而言,任何與芝加哥教師工會(Chicago Teachers Union)談判過的人,都會發現跟俄羅斯人和中國人談判輕鬆得很。鄧肯在去華盛頓任職之前是芝加哥公立學校學區(Chicago Public Schools)的首席執行官。教育部長(和國務卿)的一大部分工作,是讓盟友和對手在他們通常不會同意的事情上達成一致,同時讓他們認為這全是他們自己 的主意。相信我,如果你能與美國教師聯盟(American Federation of Teachers)主席蘭迪·溫加滕(Randi Weingarten)達成這種協議的話,你就能與弗拉基米爾·普京(Vladimir Putin)和比比·內塔尼亞胡(Bibi Netanyahu)達成協議。
]
國務卿工作的一大部分,還包括在不同的群體中尋找共識:國會、其他國家、大型企業、白宮、五角大樓和外交官們。學監也有這樣的職責,但他們要促成共識的群體要可怕得多:“家長”、“教師”、“學生”和“學校董事會”。

這裡還有一個更深層次的理由:當今世界最大的主題是增長,而在這個信息時代,為更多年輕人改善教育結果,如今是提高經濟增長、縮小收入不均的最重要 槓桿。換句話說,教育現在是可持續實力的關鍵。如果有一名世界領先的教育權威擔任國務卿,那麼,每個人都會想與之交談。比方說,與哈馬斯(Hamas)領 導人談判(假如我們會與他們談判的話)的時候,如果國務卿能首先問“知道你們的孩子有多落後嗎?”可能會非常有益。這也許會比“你們為什麼不承認以色 列?”更管用。

“當今世界最大的課題是增長,而世界可分為兩個群體:一個群體懂得這一點,另一個群體不懂得,”約翰·霍普金斯大學(Johns Hopkins University)的外交政策專家邁克爾·曼德爾鮑姆(Michael Mandelbaum)說。“如果是與中東打交道,假如有人能告訴某些群體:他們走錯了道路,他們的問題並不是他們自以為的那些,而解決辦法也不是他們所 認為的,那可能真的會有所幫助。”

的確,伊斯蘭教是世界上最偉大的一神論信仰之一,但它不是當今阿拉伯發展的答案。數學才是答案。教育才是答案。讓中東關注到這一點,將比其他任何事 情更能促進美國的利益和他們的繁榮。正如我們在埃及所看到的,突然創立一個大眾民主體制,卻沒有改進大眾教育,那是非常不穩定的。

與此同時,隨着美國對外援助預算的縮減,越來越多的援助將由傳統資助轉為“力爭上遊”式(Race to the Top)的援助。鄧肯領導的教育部在美國的校園改革中首先倡導了這種方式。我們將不得不告訴有需要的國家,誰能拿出最好的主意來教育年輕女性和女孩、激勵 初創企業,或者加強法治,那麼該國就能獲得稀缺的美國對外援助。這種競賽將是對外援助的未來。

最後,自冷戰結束後,我們的國務卿累積的飛行里程超過了他們所創造的歷史,這是有原因的。1995年前,國務卿的工作涉及終結或避免超級大國之間的衝突,以及簽署大規模的軍備控制條約。那些都屬於英勇外交的範疇。幸運的是,如今要終結的大型戰爭少得多了,現在的宏大協議關注的是貿易和環境(這些協議 很難達成),而不是核武器。還有,今天的國務卿需要應對多得多的失敗或即將失敗的國家。希拉里·克林頓國務卿(Hillary Clinton)實際上不得不推動敘利亞各反對派形成一股具有凝聚力的力量,作為說服他們正確行事的必要前提。今天,國務卿要想創造歷史,就得先塑造出要 打交道的國家。

簡言之,美國仍然不可或缺,但問題要棘手得多。我們的盟友今非昔比,敵手也如此,他們與其說是超級大國,不如說是大權在握的憤怒男女。許多國家將需 要回到黑板、回到基本的人力資源建設,然後才能與我們進行任何的合作。因此,儘管我們不太可能讓教育部長去當國務卿,但讓我們至少明白,這為何並不是一個 荒謬的主意。
翻譯:黃錚

My Secretary of State


President Obama is assembling his new national security team, with Senator John Kerry possibly heading for the Pentagon and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice the perceived front-runner to become secretary of state. Kerry is an excellent choice for defense. I don’t know Rice at all, so I have no opinion on her fitness for the job, but I think the contrived flap over her Libya comments certainly shouldn’t disqualify her. That said, my own nominee for secretary of state would be the current education secretary, Arne Duncan.
Yes, yes, I know. Duncan is not seeking the job and is not the least bit likely to be appointed. But I’m nominating him because I think this is an important time to ask the question of not just who should be secretary of state, but what should the secretary of state be in the 21st century?
Let’s 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 wouldn’t — 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.
A big part of the job of secretary of state is also finding common ground between multiple constituencies: Congress, foreign countries, big business, the White House, the Pentagon and the diplomats. The same is true for a school superintendent, but the constituencies between which they have to forge common ground are so much more intimidating: They’re called “parents,” “teachers,” “students” and “school boards.”
There is a deeper point here: The biggest issue in the world today is growth, and, in this information age, improving educational outcomes for more young people is now the most important lever for increasing economic growth and narrowing income inequality. In other words, education is now the key to sustainable power. To have a secretary of state who is one of the world’s 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 don’t you recognize Israel?”
“The biggest issue in the world today is growth, and the world is divided into two groups — those who get it and those who don’t,” said Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins University foreign policy expert. “If you’re dealing with the Middle East, it might actually be helpful to have someone who can tell some of the parties why they are going in the wrong direction and how their problems are not what they think they are, nor are their solutions.”
Indeed, Islam is one of the world’s great monotheistic faiths, but it is not the answer to Arab development today. Math is the answer. Education is the answer. Getting the Middle East to focus on that would do more to further our interests and their prosperity than anything else. As we are seeing in Egypt, suddenly creating a mass democracy without improving mass education is highly unstable.
At the same time, as our foreign budget shrinks, more and more of it will have to be converted from traditional grants to “Races to the Top,” which Duncan’s Education Department pioneered in U.S. school reform. We will have to tell needy countries that whoever comes up with the best ideas for educating their young women and girls or incentivizing start-ups or strengthening their rule of law will get our scarce foreign aid dollars. That race is the future of foreign aid.
Finally, there’s a reason that since the end of the cold war our secretaries of state have racked up more miles than they’ve made history. Before 1995, the job involved ending or avoiding superpower conflicts and signing big arms control treaties. Those were the stuff of heroic diplomacy. Fortunately, today there are fewer big wars to end, and the big treaties now focus more on trade and the environment than nukes — and they’re very hard to achieve. Also, today’s secretary of state has to deal with so many more failed or failing states. Secretary Hillary Clinton practically had to forge the Syrian opposition groups into a coherent collective, as a necessary precursor to persuading them to do the right things. Today, to make history as a secretary of state, you have to make the countries to deal with first.
In short, we’re still indispensable, but the problems are much more intractable. Our allies are not what they used to be and neither are our enemies, who are less superpowers and more superempowered angry men and women. A lot of countries will need to go back to the blackboard, back to the basics of human capacity building, before they can partner with us on anything. So while we’re not likely to shift our secretary of education to secretary of state, let’s at least understand why it is not such a preposterous idea.



*****


SENIOR STAFF
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education—Biography
Español


Photo of Secretary Arne Duncan
Print photo
Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama.
Duncan's tenure as secretary has been marked by a number of significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama's investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools. Additionally, he has helped secure an additional $10 billion to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500 million national competition for early learning programs. Under Duncan's leadership at the Department, the Race to the Top program has the incentives, guidance, and flexibility it needs to support reforms in states. The Department also has focused billions of dollars to transform struggling schools, prompting nearly 1,000 low-performing schools nationwide to recruit new staff, adopt new teaching methods, and add learning time. He has led new efforts to encourage labor and management to work together as never before, and their new collaboration is helping to drive reform, strengthen teaching, create better educational options, and improve learning. During Duncan's tenure, the Department has launched a comprehensive effort to transform the teaching profession.
In support of President Obama's goal for the United States to produce the highest percentage of college graduates by the year 2020, Duncan has helped secure increases in the Pell grant program to boost the number of young Americans attending college and receiving postsecondary degrees. He has begun new efforts to ensure that colleges and universities provide more transparency around graduation, job placement, and student loan default rates. With the income-based repayment program introduced during Duncan's tenure, student loan payments are being reduced for college graduates in low-paying jobs, and loans will be forgiven after 10 years for persons in certain public service occupations, such as teachers, police officers and firefighters.
Before becoming secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008. In that time, he won praise for uniting education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening more than 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives. Duncan is credited with significantly raising student performance on national and state tests, increasing graduation rates and the numbers of students taking Advanced Placement courses, and boosting the total number of scholarships secured by CPS students to more than $150 million. Also during his leadership of CPS, the district was recognized for its efforts to bring top teaching talent into the city's classrooms, where the number of teachers applying for positions almost tripled.
Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools, from 1992 to 1998, Duncan ran the nonprofit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the I Have A Dream program. He was part of a team that later started a new public elementary school built around a financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which today ranks among the top elementary schools in Chicago. From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.
Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, after majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American.
Duncan is married to Karen Duncan, and they have two children who attend public school in Arlington, Va.
張貼留言

網誌存檔