Today Secretary Arne Duncan spoke at the University of Northern Iowa, where he discussed Recovery Act funding for education in Iowa ($411 million) and announced the availability of a new document on use of Recovery Act funds [MS Word, 88K]. The document is intended to spark ideas about how schools and districts might use Recovery Act funds, particularly under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Title I, and the Individuals with Disabilities Act Part B.
Duncan talked about other challenges. He called for “a new generation of teachers,” saying:
“We need people who are passionate, deeply committed, and determined to help their students succeed despite whatever obstacles they might face in the community and even in their own homes.” (See video excerpt.)
He pointed to changes needed in No Child Left Behind:
“By letting states set their own standards, NCLB also created fifty different goalposts, and that’s not a recipe for educational success or economic security. In addition to being much too flexible about the goals, I’m convinced NCLB was much too prescriptive about the solutions. I want to fundamentally flip that paradigm. I want to be much tighter about the goals, and much looser about the prescriptions.” (See video excerpt.)
More information and additional video excerpts are available at the University of Northern Iowa’s website.
Also today Secretary Duncan visited Grundy Center Elementary School with Senator Tom Harkin. They talked with students and teachers, and learned about the school’s phys ed program, PE4Life, which is helping improve students’ physical fitness — and reading and math! Duncan and Harkin also toured the Heart Adventure Challenge, an obstacle course where kids move through the four chambers of the heart, learning how it works and about the importance of exercise.