Students Quiz Secretary

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High school students from the Washington, D.C., region joined me Thursday for a conversation on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” A group of more than 30 young men and women gathered in NPR’s studio with host Neal Conan, and, along with calls and e-mails from other listeners, they asked some fantastic and important questions:

  • How do we level the playing field for students in underserved communities and raise academic standards?
  • How do we continue to improve education in the face of a challenging economy?
  • How do we better serve teachers so they have the tools they need to ensure academic excellence for our nation’s students?

As U.S. Secretary of Education, my job is to try and make sure that every student in this country has a chance to get a world-class education. A great way to understand how we can better serve our nation’s students is to talk to them directly.

Our country faces huge challenges—two wars and a recovering economy. Despite these challenges, I have never been more hopeful for our nation’s youth and the future of our country.

The students I met Thursday and those I meet in schools every week make me unbelievably optimistic about where we’re going as a country. I’ve witnessed in conversations like this one the commitment of America’s young people, not just to their own education, but to making a difference in their communities and to moving our country forward.

I invite you to listen to our discussion here.

Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education