Secretary Duncan’s ESEA Speech Puts Congress on Notice
In a major address to advocates and policymakers, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan outlined the Obama administration’s goals for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, issuing a strong call for more resources paired with a continued commitment to accountability.
Duncan is seeking more funds for early learning, for low-income children, children with disabilities, and bilingual education. He also voiced strong support for teachers and for efforts to strengthen the teaching profession.
Duncan further underscored the administration’s commitment to flexibility and maintain annual testing in grades three through eight while encouraging less local testing. He also reaffirmed the need to maintain a federal oversight to insure all children receive an education that prepares them for college, careers and life.
Education Post Executive Director Peter Cunningham, who served with Duncan in the Obama Administration as an Assistant Secretary of Education, said:
“Secretary Duncan’s speech is a bold shot across the bow of the Republicans intent on putting states’ rights ahead of our children’s moral rights to a quality education.”
“Duncan is challenging conservatives to show they still care about accountability and challenging liberals to show that they still care about ensuring educational equity for all kids. More local control cannot come at the expense of transparency and accountability.
“To protect kids at risk, protect parents’ right to know if their children are on track, and protect the taxpayers’ right to know what they are getting for their money, a robust federal role in public education is still needed.”