School Days February 2012

Uploaded by usedgov on 13.03.2012

It's School Days, the monthly video journal of the US Department of Education. In our
February 2012 edition, President Obama gives 11 states new flexibility from some of the
most burdensome parts of No Child Left Behind so those states can pursue education reforms;
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits the Green Schools National Conference; the
Obama Administration proposes a new $5 billion program that will work with teachers, their
unions, and colleges of education to help transform the teaching profession; and much
In our top story, the President announced new flexibility from the burdensome mandates
of the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB. President: If you're willing to set higher,
more honest standards than the ones that were set by No Child Left Behind, then we're going
to give you the flexibility to meet those standards.
In exchange for flexibility, 11 states have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability,
and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness.
States named in the first round of NCLB waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Another 26
states and the District of Columbia have submitted formal requests for relief from No Child Left
The Obama Administration released its budget request for Fiscal Year 2013, with proposed
new education investments to help all Americans gain the skills and knowledge they need to
help rebuild the nation's economy. The 69.8 billion-dollar request - an increase of two-and-a-half
percent over this year's budget - includes a 14 billion dollar, one-time strategic investment
in key reforms. Those reforms include aligning education programs with workforce demands,
raising the teaching profession, and increasing college affordability and quality.
The proposed budget for 2013 features a new competitive grant program that aims to transform
the entire field of teaching Secretary Duncan: Our goal is to work with
teachers in rebuilding the teaching profession to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal,
state and local education policy. - from training and tenure, to compensation
and career opportunities. Arne held a town meeting with teachers to announce the RESPECT
project - a national conversation led by the Education Department's Teaching Ambassador
Fellows in order to inform the Administration's proposal for improving the teaching profession.
Secretary Duncan: Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America's most important
profession, but America's most respected profession. That's a lofty goal, but we are deadly serious
about it. Arne went to Denver, Colorado, to attend the
Green Schools National Conference. In his keynote remarks to nearly 1,500 educators,
he talked about the growing importance of green schools, environmental literacy, and
educating children about environmental stewardship and sustainability. He called the conference
a "coming of age moment" for the green schools movement.
Secretary Duncan: I want to state unequivocally that the green school movement is not a zero-sum
game. It is really a win-win game. While in Denver, Arne visited a local school
to conduct a town hall meeting with educators, parents, elected officials, business and community
leaders, and students, and to talk about Colorado's recent school-reform successes. Joining Arne
were Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom
In Aurora, Colorado, Arne observed students in a special program devoted to medicine and
health sciences. He also took part in a roundtable discussion with Superintendent of Aurora Public
Schools John Barry.
Arne's visit to Orlando, Florida, included a town hall meeting at Memorial Middle School,
focusing on community engagement in education. Among the participants were U.S. Senator Bill
Nelson, U.S. Representative Corrine Brown, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Brian Gallagher,
chief executive officer and president of United Way Worldwide.
Announcer: Class is now in session, so welcome back the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
Also in Orlando, Arne took part in NBA All-Star Weekend activities, attending a number of
education events - as well as the All-Star Celebrity Game, where he "schooled" the competition
by scoring 17 points and pulling in 8 rebounds.
In celebration of Black History Month, Arne participated in a tribute to African American
Women who are advocates for education. DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson was a featured
Our nation's need to recruit, train and retain teachers in science, technology, engineering
and math or "STEM" subjects was the focus of an event at Google's Washington, DC, offices.
Arne came by to help launch the "100Kin10 Coalition" - a new partnership dedicated to
finding 100,000 new STEM teachers in the next decade.
Secretary Duncan: Great educators, great leaders are stepping outside their comfort zones,
are collaborating and doing things that folks would have thought was impossible
Arne celebrated Teach for America week with a visit to Washington, D.C.'s Ballou High
School. He reminded students about the importance of hard work and a good education, and the
need for quality teachers, especially African Americans, to join those already in the classroom.
Nationwide, more than 35 percent of public school students are African American or Hispanic,
but less than 15 percent of teachers are Black or Latino.
Secretary Duncan: We have to do everything we can to foster innovation to help to move
from print to digital as fast as we can. Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration
of innovative teaching and learning using digital media and technology, was observed
at a special event at The Newseum in Washington. Arne and Federal Communications Commission
Chairman Genachowski hosted a national town hall webcast with an audience of more than
20,000 students and teachers online at schools across the country.
Secretary Duncan: It's so important that every single young person in this country, every
child coming from the Latino community, the goal has to be not just graduating from high
school and having no dropouts going forward. You can't just graduate from high school,
you have to think about some form of higher education.
Using social media to reach out to Hispanic community, Arne hosted a virtual Town Hall
in English and Spanish. The audience around the country watched online and submitted questions
and comments to Arne and his guests via Twitter. The topics ranged from college affordability
to dropout rates, and from teacher effectiveness to job training.
Hasta luego.
That's all for now. For updates, check out the blog on
And see you next month on School Days. (Applause.)
Host: When you graduated Harvard, did you, I mean is a disappointment for you to have
ended up just as Secretary of Education, not obviously, as an NBA superstar?