File under: Can you imagine if a Republican Education Secretary said this?
Via the Washington Post, Education Secretary Arne Duncan makes a clumsy attempt at pointing out that there was an educational silver lining to the catastrophic hurricane that devastated New Orleans.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from a television interview made public Friday.
Duncan’s interview on “Washington Watch With Roland Martin” was scheduled to air Sunday on TV One.
The excerpts quoted an exchange between Duncan and Martin about the effect of the 2005 hurricane on the city’s schools.
Martin was quoted as saying: “What’s amazing is New Orleans was devastated because of Hurricane Katrina, but because everything was wiped out, in essence, you are building from ground zero to change the dynamics of education in that city.”
Duncan was quoted as replying: “It’s a fascinating one. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans, and this is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest. I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina.