Secretary Duncan to Deliver Remarks to Recognize 50th Anniversary of Elementary and Secondary Education Act

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will recognize the 50th anniversary of Congress passing the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) with remarks and a conversation with civil rights leader Wade Henderson, D.C. Public School Principal Rachel Skerritt and local students on Thursday. The event will be at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.

Duncan will discuss the education progress that America has seen in the past half-century and the work that lies ahead to close achievement gaps – including the need for Congress to reauthorize a strong ESEA, commonly known as No Child Left Behind. A media availability will follow the discussion.

Duncan has called on Congress to replace ESEA with a bill that ensures every child has the opportunity to succeed by:

  • Giving teachers and principals the resources they need, and investing in districts and states to create innovative solutions that increase student outcomes;
  • Making real investments in high-poverty schools and districts, and addressing funding inequities for schools that serve high proportions of low-income students;
  • Expanding quality preschool;
  • Holding high expectations for all students, and requiring that where groups of students or schools are not making progress, there will be an action plan for change; and 
  • Identifying schools that are consistently underperforming and dedicating additional resources and support.