Education secretary promotes innovation at state, local levels
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on January 12 laid out a vision for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that continues a focus on the nation’s most vulnerable students.
During a speech on the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the nation’s cornerstone education law, Duncan called for scrapping the law known as No Child Left Behind and replacing it with a version that not only prepares children for college and careers, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child–including minority students, students with disabilities, low-income students and English learners. Duncan, joined by civil rights leaders, educators, parents, students, members of Congress, clergy, nonprofit community leaders and others, emphasized the critical role of ESEA in protecting the rights of all students to a quality education that will set them up for success.
“I believe we can work together–Democrats and Republicans–to move beyond the tired, prescriptive No Child Left Behind law. I believe we can replace it with a law that recognizes that schools need more support–more money–than they receive today,” Duncan said. “A law that recognizes that no family should be denied preschool for their children. A law that recognizes the hard work educators across America are doing to support and raise expectations for students, and lifts up the profession of teaching by recognizing that teachers need better preparation, better support, and more resources. A law that says that educational opportunity isn’t an option, it’s a civil right.”
(Next: Duncan’s call for high-quality preschool)