Arne Duncan, nominee to be Secretary of Education, had his confirmation hearing before a Senate committee yesterday.

So, what did the future leader of American education have to say?

He laid out a thoroughly pragmatic agenda, vowing “to scale up what works” to raise student achievement. He said the Obama administration intended to expand early childhood programs, encourage charter schools, improve teacher training and recruitment, reduce the high school dropout rate and increase college access. He called education a moral obligation, an economic imperative and “the civil rights issue of our generation.”

He also stated.

“We must do dramatically better. We must continue to innovate,” Duncan said. “We must build upon what works. We must stop doing what doesn’t work. And we have to continue to challenge the status quo.”

Sorry, but the agenda he outlined for the panel contains very little innovation and sounds exactly like the status quo.

We are at a point in American education where “pragmatic” is just not good enough.