“It doesn’t matter what the academic subject is – or the age of the student. From the moment students enter a school, the most important factor in their success is the teacher,” said Secretary Duncan earlier today at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In the speech, the Secretary once again pointed to South Korea and Singapore, two countries that revere teachers as “nation builders.”
“In those countries, everyone understands that teachers are preparing the leaders and workers who will ensure the country’s long-term economic prosperity. In America, our teachers aren’t treated like the nation builders that they are.”
Math, as part of well-rounded education, will be key to America’s success in the 21st century. Students who have completed Algebra II in high school are twice as likely to earn a degree as those who didn’t. Secretary Duncan noted that Algebra provides a foundation of using logic to solve problems and to make connections between multiple pieces of information.
Young students learning multiplication tables today will be this country’s future mechanics, engineers, doctors and nurses. The Secretary explained to the math teachers at the meeting that whatever today’s students do 30 years from now:
The mathematics they’re learning today will provide the foundation for their success – and for the long-term prosperity of our country. Thank you for being the nation builders who are making that happen.