Do you drink from public water fountains?
I'm guessing that Arne Duncan does not drink from public water fountains. I do (when I can find a working one). And that may be the fundamental difference between Arne and me.
Public fountains are disappearing because the concept of public is disappearing.
Public water fountains are not dangerous (unless cooties are real). Tap water is safe, and the spigots are designed to prevent contamination.
The rise of bottled water here in the States shows how a public institution can be demonized and replaced by a much more expensive privatized solution.
If you can put down the alcohol wipes to look at the numbers, though, you'll learn that tap water is safe, and that the government standards for tap water are higher than the standards required for the commercial stuff.
Charter schools are like bottled water--they're believed to be superior, and their standards are less stringent that their more public counterparts. (Yes, I know that charter schools are part of the public school systems, but they are not public in the sense that they equally accept all students. This difference matters.)
A new report issued today by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes
(CREDO) at Stanford University found that there is a wide variance in the quality of the nation’s several thousand charter schools with, in the aggregate, students in charter schools not faring as well as students in traditional public schools.
Arne called himself a CEO when he oversaw the Chicago Schools; I think he's doing the best he can with his God-given tools (or genome, take your picks), but basketball may be his strongest suit, and even there he was not NBA class. In polite company I'd say he lacks gravitas.
We don't want the CEO of Nestle's running our public water supply for obvious reasons; we should not have to put up with a former "CEO" trying to run our public schools.
The photo, "Child of miner drinking from water supply. Dixie Darby Fuel Company, Marne Mine, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky, 09/13/1946," is from our National Archives, and is therefore public.