Education Secretary Duncan responds to eSchool News readers

2.  “When will our public education system equal the playing field for all students and teachers by recommending that every K-12 school’s professional staff include a full-time certified school librarian—one who can provide essential literacy instruction to students and critical co-teaching support for classroom teachers in using 21st-century tools to support learning and teaching 21st-century skills?” —Judi Moreillon, M.L.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas

Duncan:  “You raise an important issue. An essential part of offering all students a world-class education includes providing them with access to a full range of texts and expert teachers who will help them to learn from them. All teachers have a mission to develop literate and engaged critical thinkers, and media specialists play an important role in achieving this goal. Of course, there are a number of ways for schools to include this high-quality instruction. For most K-12 schools, it will be important to have certified librarians on staff who can facilitate learning, co-teach, and even show classroom teachers how to use increasingly sophisticated digital media. However, some school districts may choose to tackle the issue in a different way. Our role in the federal government is to support the use of research, libraries, and media specialists, but not to mandate how schools accomplish this goal. Instead, every district should develop high goals for student learning and then set policies in place to make them happen for their unique students.”

Meris Stansbury

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