Arne Duncan is experiencing the novel coronavirus like the rest of us: worried about his family, worried about his community and worried about our country as a whole. But he’s also experiencing it as the leader of community work to reduce gang violence in Chicago, as a managing director at Emerson Collective — one of America’s leading philanthropic organizations — and, of course, as a previous urban school leader and a former U.S. secretary of education.
That’s why we wanted to talk with Duncan about what he’s seeing as schools and the country scramble to react to this remarkable pandemic. We were interested in what he’s witnessing, what is encouraging him and what he’s concerned about. And as a former federal official, what does he see as Washington’s role in education during this crisis? We sat down with him last week via videoconference to talk about all that and more.