Secretary Arne Duncan, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and civil rights leader Al Sharpton discussed their national tour to expose challenges and highlight education reform in America’s schools on Meet the Press, with host David Gregory, on Sunday, Nov. 15.
Secretary Duncan said, “We want the department to be an agent of innovation” in the drive to turn schools around. He emphasized that “we all have to take responsibility” in making our schools better. Part of that effort, he said, must include decreasing the dropout rate, increasing graduation rates and preparing students better for work and college.
In a joint statement about the national tour, Secretary Duncan, Gingrich and Sharpton said: “Our hope is that these school visits and conversations will inspire stakeholders to set aside partisanship and ideology and join together in support of a common education reform agenda that addresses our core challenges and provides every child in every school the very best education possible.”
The tour is an outgrowth of a meeting the three had with President Obama last spring. It will include school visits, stakeholder meetings and media briefings. The three first visited Philadelphia on Sept. 29, followed by Baltimore on Nov. 13. See the full Meet the Press interview.