Archives for arne duncan



How Is a Bad Radio Station Like Our Public-School System? A Freakonomics Radio Podcast Encore

Our recent podcast “Weird Recycling” looked at ways to reuse things that most people don’t think are reusable, like chicken feet and nuclear waste. This week, we’re taking our own advice, and updating a program we did a while back. It’s called “How Is a Bad Radio Station Like Our Public-School System?” and it focuses on what you might call the thrill of customization — that is, how technology increasingly enables each of us to get what we want out of life. (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the media player above, or read the transcript below.)

The main focus of the episode is a fascinating New York City Department of Education pilot program called School of One, which customizes the classroom experience for each student. Read More »



A Government Official in Venture Capitalist’s Clothing?

What do the X Prize, Google, and the Department of Education have in common? Stephen Dubner gives Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal a pop quiz that compares American aviator Charles Lindbergh to the Race to the Top education-reform program, which makes the government seem a bit more like a sleek venture capitalist than its typical bureaucratic […] Read More »



Nobody Better Than Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan is expected to be announced as the next secretary of education later today. Freakonomics readers will remember Arne as the hero of our chapter on teacher cheating. He was head of the Chicago Public Schools when Brian Jacob and I were investigating how teachers and administrators were doctoring standardized test sheets. With seemingly […] Read More »