Fresh off a national bus tour that took officials from the U.S. Department of Education to communities across the country, Secretary Arne Duncan shared stories and examples of how policies supported by the Obama Administration are benefiting students and schools during a speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday. While he highlighted what is working, he also discussed a vision for what initiatives the Obama Administration would continue to pursue, if elected for another four years.
Duncan highlighted key Administration education reform initiatives already underway such as:
- College and career-ready standards in 45 states and D.C.
- State-designed accountability systems in 33 states serving more than 60 percent of students; more local decision-making around interventions in low-performing schools.
- Nearly 10 million students attending college with Pell grants – up from 6 million; rising college enrollment and completion.
- Greater labor-management collaboration around issues like teacher and principal evaluation, compensation, and career pathways for teachers.
Duncan outlined additional priorities that will continue to be the focus of the Obama Administration such as:
- High quality early education for more low-income children.
- State-driven accountability that demands progress for all kids.
- More local decision-making and fewer mandates from Washington.
- More support for principals and teachers to translate high standards into practice.
- More personalization in the classroom and greater student engagement.
- A stronger partnership between teachers and technology.
- A new generation of math and science teachers recruited from America’s top universities.
- Passage of the DREAM Act.
- Reforming career education programs in high schools and community colleges.
- Closing the skills gap for millions of unemployed or underemployed adults.
- Reforming and simplifying student aid to help drive college affordability and completion.
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