Former Education Secretaries DREAM On

, Malcolm A. Kline, 3 Comments

A quintet of former U. S. Secretaries of Education are weighing in on behalf of the so-called DREAM Act designed to benefit the children of illegal aliens.

“We write out of deep concern for approximately two million Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children,” they indeed did write in a letter to congressional leaders of both parties. “Over the past five years, hundreds of thousands of these young people came forward in good faith to participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

“They registered with the government, passed extensive background checks, and worked tirelessly to get on the right side of our country’s laws. They chose to take part in DACA so that they could move forward with their lives, realize their potential, and become full-fledged participants in America’s civil society. They have been able to obtain driver’s licenses, pursue higher education, secure employment, create new companies, serve in our military, and become contributing taxpayers.”

The letter offers no numbers or sources to substantiate any of these claims. Since the signers include political appointees who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations, the declaration looks bipartisan. Yet and still, all of the five are members in, more or less, good standing with the educational establishment. They are:

• Richard W. Riley, Former Secretary of Education, President Bill Clinton
• Roderick Paige, Former Secretary of Education, President George W. Bush
• Margaret Spellings, Former Secretary of Education, President George W. Bush
• Arne Duncan, Former Secretary of Education, President Barack Obama
• John King, Former Secretary of Education, President Barack Obama

What they also have in common are policies they pursued while in office that, arguably, did little to turn around declining education trends, including:

No Child Left Behind;
Race to the Top; and
Common Core.

We have written about all of the above. Letters from former officials might be more impressive if they gave any indication that the active retirees learned anything from their time in office.

This one doesn’t.