For too long, actually, we have either said you’re this or that.
– Margaret Spellings
What we know is the workplace is more demanding than ever before.
I mean, one thing I know about change is we are not going to close the achievement gap without educators.
I think it’d be useful for parents to know kind of what is the culture of an institution.
Higher education is confronting challenges, like the economy is, about the need for a higher number of more adequately trained, more highly educated citizenry.
We want to obviously foster a relationship that we’re a partner with states; that we all share the same goals of closing the achievement gap, just as the Congress does; and that we’re practical and sophisticated enough to understand what they’re talking about.
I think all kinds of parents are different in what they’re seeking.
We know that if we’re going to remain economically competitive in the world, and viable as a civic democracy, that we’re going to have to get more people educated to higher levels.
Well, one of them is annual assessment in grades 3-8. It’s integral to the implementation of everything.
I do think we know that a teacher who knows what he or she is doing, knows their subject matter, and knows how to impart knowledge to kids is a critical piece of closing the achievement gap.
There’s lots of institutions and lots of different cultures, and so that’s the kind of thing that parents need to be able to evaluate, and students themselves, when they make a selection.
And I think that we in America need to understand that many schools need improvement, and particularly with respect to how they’re serving minority children.
In Connecticut, my understanding, although I haven’t seen the actual litigation, is that they want to measure every other year and not provide annual assessment as is required in the statute.
It’s a hard process to navigate… to figure out where your kid ought to go to college.
Again, the truth of the matter is we haven’t paid that much attention to high school accountability.
And I believe that public broadcasting has an important trust with the American people, it’s an intimate medium of television, and that we can do reading and language development for young children without getting into human sexuality.
The long and short of it is, we need more rigor in all kinds of programs.
And I think that’s righteous, I think that’s what parents want to know. They want to know what’s going right in the school, and what needs improvement, and that’s what this law does.
But the other notion is, we also believe that those folks closest on the ground that we’re holding accountable for the results can decide, and ought to evaluate which programs get results.
My understanding is that Kansas, Massachusetts, they’ve been more pioneers on the special education side.
We at the Department of Education are going to provide technical assistance; I’ve committed $14 million to show states how they might meet this more sophisticated approach.