Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Arne Duncan - One Of The Best And Brightest Of Our Generation

The phrase "Best and Brightest" doesn't mean what Arne Duncan seems to think it means. 

In modern usage, "Best and Brightest" has a negative connotation.  David Halberstam used it to describe the geniuses in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who, despite their Ivy League pedigrees and high IQ's, managed to take the country into a quagmire of a war that it still hasn't recovered from. 

Halberstam meant the term ironically, but Arne Duncan, who clearly is one of this generation's "Best and Brightest," doesn't understand irony or he would know that the last thing he would want in the teaching profession is the "Best and Brightest" as Halberstam used the phrase.

Of course Duncan could be referring to the Shelley usage of the phrase, which does not have the same negative connotation as the Halberstam usage, but I suspect Duncan neither knows who Percy Shelley was nor has read any of his poetry.

Arne Duncan, along with his genius boss in the White House, is truly one of the "Best and Brightest" this country has to offer, an exemplar of those same geniuses Halberstam wrote about in his book the "Best and Brightest."

Duncan shows that with each utterance to the press and each tweet that emanates from his Twitter account.


  1. Always edifying. They have a sign in front of one of our GnT schools in B-lo proclaiming themselves to be the Best and Brightest. I always found it odious as a special ed teacher od behaviorally troubled kids. What should my sign say ? Do Not Disturb Any Further? Duncan is neither best nor bright but might fit better under the rubric of Eli Broad's biaaatch. I dropped an Ozymondias reference in last night's post. Great minds my friend. Keep up the great stuff. You inspire daily.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Sean. It gets easier to keep the faith when so many people are taking part in the anti-Core, anti-testing, anti-data collection movement. It is really heartening to see how much this has snowballed this year.

  2. "Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away."

  3. Look on my Common Core ye proles and despair