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Secretary Duncan Ties Education to Economy
posted by: Alix | December 01, 2011, 03:37 PM   

When speaking to groups of dedicated educators, often teachers admit feeling disconnected to Washington, D.C. and domestic policy at the federal level. When your day is structured at the local level, the rhetoric of a politician can often go unnoticed, especially on issues seemingly unrelated to education. Interestingly, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan bridged this gap this week with remarks made in Nevada about our education system and its role in the U.S. economy.

Speaking to a group of both students and teachers, Secretary Duncan noted that investing in education is the single most important factor in an overall healthy economy. "We have to educate our way to a better economy," Secretary Duncan said during a meeting at the College of Southern Nevada. "We are fighting not just for children or education. I really think we are fighting for our country."

In a setting like Nevada, the message begins to resonate with the community as a whole. Nevada tops the nation in foreclosures and unemployment and deals with funding issues in most K-12 school districts. In joining with other education leaders across the state, Duncan called for parents to become more involved in their children's education. "All of us as parents need to step up and be part of the solution," Duncan stressed.

Dwight Jones, the Clark County School District superintendent, said nearly 50% of 12th graders in the district are vulnerable to dropping out this year alone. In illustrating Nevada's unique problems, Jones advocated for more flexibility to help students through innovative methods, like online learning.

While every state faces its own unique challenges, our ability to churn out the next generation of leaders is certainly tied to the economy and our overall future as a nation. While reasonable people can disagree on how to increase positive student outcomes, we face an issue that will undoubtedly impact every American policy in the future.

What do you think about Secretary Duncan's comments? Do you feel they resonate in your community?

Comment below.

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