Thursday, April 28, 2011

Education Secretary Duncan: U.S. schools need to get 'better faster'

Also per my last email, Arne Duncan spoke at Princeton yesterday and knocked the cover off the ball.  I love that Duncan took the time to meet with the amazing students at Students for Education Reform (, which started at Princeton:

Junior Catharine Bellinger, a Woodrow Wilson School major who is executive director of the national nonprofit organization Students for Education Reform, asked Duncan about challenges the government faces in implementing major changes in student assessment and teacher evaluation standards in a short period of time.

"There's risk in all of these things," Duncan said. "With raising standards, there's risk. With changing assessment, there's risk. But I constantly say 'don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good,' and for far too long in education, if something wasn't perfect, we wouldn't do it.

"For five decades, we've had teacher evaluations that are absolutely meaningless. … There will be choppy times in there, but my goal is three years from now we'll be a lot better off than we are now," he added.

After the event, Bellinger said she appreciated the secretary's words.

"It was inspiring to hear Secretary Duncan encourage young people to take leadership positions in the field," she said. "It was also important that he recognized the challenges we face in closing the achievement gap."

Bellinger, who attended the event with members of the Princeton chapter of Students for Education Reform, said her group was working to hear Duncan's call and work with him to build the next generation of teachers.


Education Secretary Duncan: U.S. schools need to get 'better faster'

Posted April 20, 2011; 08:45 p.m.

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