My Conversation with Arne Duncan Part 1

@mr_brett_clark 2 Comments

The first of October Arne Duncan sent out the following tweet.

I decided I would take my chance and respond with a few questions. Here is what happened.

I emailed Cameron and asked him if I could do an interview with Mr. Duncan through Skype or Google+.  He told me that if I sent him some questions that he would pass them on and Mr. Duncan would answer one by video and provide written responses.

After talking to a couple of folks I emailed Cameron five questions.

1. How would you define a “successful teacher”?

2. When it comes to Race to the Top, what parts are you happiest with and what would you like to change?

3. What role should collaboration play in an innovative workspace? How do current education policies encourage or hinder collaboration?

4. What's the future of standardized test? Do you ever see a time where we will
have a national standardized test?

5. What was your greatest learning experience and how was it measured?

The great thing about all of this is that it happened because I was willing to put myself out there on twitter. If we are going to make a difference in education we have to be willing to stick ourselves out there and take advantage of any opportunity that we are given. Are my five questions going to change the landscape of education? Probably not, but the conversation has to start somewhere.

It was a great honor to be able to ask these questions. Here is a blog post he released before the election where Mr. Duncan responds to some questions he received from social media, email, and regular mail. Below is the video from the post and he responds to my question about collaboration around the 3:40 mark. 

So what do you think about his response to my question? What follow up question would you ask Mr. Duncan? Sound off below and stay tuned for part 2! 


  1. Brett, I am uncomfortable with a couple things he said:

    1. His throwaway comment at the end (Tough Minded Collaboration)... It sounds like he means Collaborate, or I'm Gonna Whoop Ya. Cheryl and I would say that violates the entire spirit of the enterprise.

    2. I don't know that he really responded to your actual question.

    3. Even though he said he probably left a few out, I am terribly concerned that he left out the Most Important areas of collaboration -- the ones that happen in the classroom. Nothing about teacher-teacher, teacher-student, or even student-student. I know distance from the classroom breeds myopia, but this is very important.

  2. Tough minded collaboration? What is that?