The EdSec and the EWA

On the closing day of the 2014 Education Writers Association National Seminar, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (a regular speaker at the annual event) delivered the keynote address. 

After dispensing with the pleasantries, the EdSec launched into a speech that most in the room had heard, in one iteration, several times before. As he dove into his prepared remarks, the EdSec stated, “I often say that education is the civil rights issue of our generation. I want to elaborate on what that means and how the pursuit of equity runs like a ribbon through the Education Department’s programs and the initiatives launched by President Obama.”
The EdSec then launched into a passionate detailing of the work that his agency has engaged in for the past years. Some of the nuggets he offered:
  • “There
    is the outrage over our nation’s achievement gaps and the fact that millions of
    our children still don’t receive equal educational opportunity.”
  • “Today,
    we worry both about achievement gaps and opportunity gaps. Because we haven’t provided
    access to high quality early learning to all families, millions of children
    enter kindergarten already behind their peers at the starting line of school.
    That is profoundly unfair.”
  • “The
    bottom line is that students of color, students with disabilities, and English
    learners don’t get the same opportunity as their White and Asian-American peers
    to take the math and science courses that figure importantly in preparing for
    careers and college.”
  • “No
    one has been hurt more in recent years by low standards and a lack of accountability
    for student learning than our most disadvantaged students.”
  • “Without
    accountability, there’s no expectation that all children will learn. Without
    accountability, there’s no urgency. Without accountability, without meaningful
    assessments of student learning, parents don’t have an objective way to know whether
    their children are getting the education they deserve.”
  • “Unfortunately,
    in 2014, we don’t treat inequality and inequity in schools with the urgency and
    seriousness of purpose it deserves.”
  • “Too
    many Americans today have become complacent about our educational performance.”
  • “We
    have achievement gaps and opportunity gaps. But more importantly, we have a
    courage gap and an action gap.”

The full text of the prepared remarks can be found here, courtesy of Joy Resmovits of The Huffington Post.
All of these are great soundbites, and they were delivered with real passion. And following on the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision this past weekend, all are timely and relate to many of the issues those in attendance have been thinking, speaking, and writing about for the past week.
But for an audience that has heard the EdSec’s “civil rights issue” stump speech many times over the past five years, was it the right set of remarks to deliver? When so many in the room were eager to hear the EdSec relay some new information or news regarding the U.S. Department of Education and its activities, did these remarks deliver on the promise?
In a room that was looking for a little red meat and something new and shiny, they got the same appetizers they’ve been served many times over. Or maybe Eduflack missed something …

5 thoughts on “The EdSec and the EWA

  1. レイバン サングラス レディース

    エルメス ハンドバッグは特に女性に有名な魅力的な願いに常にリンクされたタブようです。これらの小さなもの – すべての女の子のような私を見つける – に見えるし、1 つ多くのルイ ・ ヴィトン スーツケースの人を設定します。ゼウスは、子どもたちができることを望んでいます。

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