This past Tuesday, young people from across the nation had an opportunity to speak their minds about the state of American education in a lively hour-long “National Town Hall Meeting with Students” hosted by Secretary Arne Duncan.
The live television broadcast and webcast allowed students to talk about their views on how we are preparing them for college and careers; about how they can get more involved in community service and civic life; and about their response President Obama’s September back to school speech, where he challenged students to take more responsibility for their own education.
Arne’s discussion with the studio audience of students from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., and the satellite remote audience of middle and high school schoolers from Cleveland-area schools was enlivened by phone calls from young people in California and New York, video questions and commentaries from students in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, and blog postings from others across the country.
The conversation ranged from abstract topics such as the value of volunteering to the specifics of financial aid for college. Many students talked about their personal commitment to excellence, such as the young woman from Wakefield who said: “I am just trying to keep moving forward, pushing myself, telling myself I can do it no matter what.”
Arne expressed hope and pride in today’s students. “Our students are inspiring, smart, committed, working hard to build positive futures for themselves,” he said.
To watch the archived webcast of the event, go to: http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews/.