What You Missed: Shakira and Secretary Arne Duncan Answer Your Questions on Early Education

This post originally appeared on The White House Blog.

Earlier today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Grammy award-winning artist Shakira took to Twitter to answer your questions about the early childhood education.

Shakira, who is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and a strong advocate for high-quality early education, joined Duncan in highlighting $1 billion in new public and private commitments that were announced as part of today’s White House Summit on Early Education.

At the Summit, President Obama reiterated his call to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every kid in America, and announced the launch of the Invest In Usinitiatitive. The new initaitive challenges public and private partners, business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials, and individuals to build a better nation by expanding high-quality early childhood education.

Take a look at the full #ShakiraEdChat Q&A below, or over on Storify, and check out Shakira’s new PSA videos on InvestInUs.org.

Cameron Brenchley is Senior Digital Strategist for the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House.

Join Shakira and Secretary Duncan for a Twitter Q&A on Early Education

For every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we see a rate of return of $7 or more through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these kids as adults.

Early education is one of the best investments our country can make. Participation in high-quality early learning programs—like Head Start, public and private pre-K, and childcare—provide children from all backgrounds with a strong start and a solid foundation for success in school.

Tomorrow, President Obama will host a White House Summit on Early Education, announcing new commitments and building on his call to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America.

As part of the Summit, Grammy award-winning artist Shakira and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be taking to Twitter on Wednesday, December 10, at 10:00 a.m. ET to answer your questions about early education. Shakira is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and has been a strong advocate for high-quality early education.

Here’s how you can get involved:

Learn more about the President’s plan to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, and then join Shakira and Secretary Arne Duncan for a Twitter chat on Wednesday, December 10, at 10:00 a.m. ET.

This post originally appeared on The White House blog.

Painting a Different Picture of Education in the Juvenile Detention Center

12082014 - Correctional Education MBK Event  47

Secretary Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a Correctional Education Guidance Package aimed at helping states and local agencies strengthen the quality of education services provided to America’s estimated 60,000 young people in confinement every day.

This guidance package builds on recommendations in the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report released in May to “reform the juvenile and criminal justice systems to reduce unnecessary interactions for youth and to enforce the rights of incarcerated youth to a quality education.” Today’s guidance package is a roadmap that states and local agencies can use to improve the quality of educational services for confined youth.

Secretary Duncan and Attorney General Holder visited The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center School to announce this new guidance. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the art teacher, writes about the impact of the art program is having on the students in the detention facility.

When envisioning a juvenile detention center, people often think of an institution with barbed wire set away from a populated area; a forgotten place where children go to be punished and removed from the public eye. It certainly isn’t regarded as an educational institution where learning and creativity happen. My goal is to paint a different picture. It’s a picture of a place that offers hope in place of doubt, care in place of harm, and knowledge in place of ignorance.

Ghandi

One student’s artwork at the Norther Virginia Juvenile Detention Facility

The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center School is housed within a single wing of the detention center. As you walk down our school’s hallway, you see artwork displaying where our students have been, where they are now, and where they hope to be in the future. Further down the hall, you might hear students presenting evidence discovered in a science experiment or discussing the personality traits of characters they read about in English class.

The classes at the Center are small, co-taught, and focus on project-based learning. Students receive differentiated instruction and individual attention from every teacher, which helps improve their academic skills. They frequently express that they benefit from this kind of education and insist they would have attended their former schools more regularly if it had been more like this.

The “d-center” school, as it is referred to by staff and students, has grown into a program that has helped students receive their high school diploma, obtain scholarships to community and state colleges, and, ultimately, have a positive impact in their own communities. Here, I have seen students slowly but surely remove the personal barriers they have so carefully built over the years. They trust the education program is here to offer them a chance for change and provide new opportunities. As educators, we realize this may be the first opportunity they’ve ever been given to explore different sides of themselves, tell their story, and truly practice being self aware.

At the end of the day, we measure our success by the small steps we see our students take on a daily basis. For some, it may be the first time they master math concepts, or speak in front of a history class. We don’t view our students as criminals or prisoners; to us they are students who deserve the best education a child can have. We foster an environment that sets high standards and encourages each one to discover their personal best. And in the process, we often end up finding our own personal best.

To learn more about the art education program at the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center School please visit the Art room website

Kathleen Fitzpatrick works for Alexandria City Public Schools and is an art teacher at the Northern Virginia Detention Center School. In 2013, she received the 2013 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award.

Re-connecting Youth to Opportunity: ED Announces the Performance Partnership Pilots Program

“We really need to break down the barriers between federal programs so we can better meet the needs of our most vulnerable youth”, says Lori Kaplan, President and CEO of the Latin American Youth Center in Washington D.C. “Many of the young people we serve come to us with a multiplicity of needs. These kids often require multiple interventions, over longer periods of time than is currently allowable under some federal programs.”

Over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. are out of school and not working. In many cases, they face the additional challenges of being low-income, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, five federal agencies are coming together to offer a new opportunity to help communities overcome the obstacles they face in achieving better outcomes for these “disconnected youth,” as well as those at risk of becoming similarly disconnected from critical social institutions and supports. Secretary Arne Duncan emphasized the importance of this unprecedented Federal collaboration to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable youth, saying, “We have reduced the dropout rate to a historic low, but we can’t stop there. We need to find better ways to reconnect the millions of young Americans who are not engaged in education, training, or work. This new performance partnership effort gives state, local, and tribal leaders the flexibility to develop innovative solutions to more effectively serve these “opportunity youth”, and put them on a path to the middle class.”

For the next 100 days, state, tribes, and municipalities can apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies for achieving significant improvements in educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth. This initiative is one of the more promising and exciting opportunities to move the needle on improving the outcomes for over five million young people in our cities, states, and native communities.

This P3 initiative enables up to 10 pilots to blend together funds that they already receive from different discretionary programs administered by the departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

P3 allows new flexibility under federal statutes, regulations, and other requirements to overcome barriers and align program and reporting requirements, enabling applicants to propose the most effective ways to use these dollars. In addition, pilots will receive start-up grants of up to $700,000.

Government and community partners already invest considerable attention and resources to meet the needs of America’s disconnected youth. However, practitioners, youth advocates, and program administrators on the front lines of service delivery have let us know that achieving powerful outcomes is still sometimes inhibited by programmatic and administrative obstacles, such as poor coordination and alignment across the multiple systems that serve youth and fragmented data systems that inhibit the flow of information. P3 responds directly to these challenges by offering broad new flexibility in exchange for better outcomes.

As an evidence-based initiative, P3 will prioritize applicants whose proposals draw on existing evidence of what works and show that they will collect and use reliable data for decision-making and accountability. Applicants that propose to rigorously evaluate at least a component of their pilot will receive competitive preference. In order to look across all pilot sites, the Federal agencies will initiate a national P3 evaluation to examine implementation and build the base of knowledge of how to best serve disconnected youth.

In order to test this new authority in diverse environments across America, P3 includes priorities for applicants that propose to serve disconnected youth in rural communities, and applicants that propose to serve disconnected youth in tribal communities.

Applicants will have 100 days to submit their applications, and the Federal agencies plan to announce the pilot sites in late spring 2015. Lead applicants must be a State, local, or tribal government entity, represented by a chief executive. The lead applicant will submit the proposal on behalf of a partnership that involves all public and private organizations (including non-profit, business, industry, and labor organizations) participating in the pilot. Although non-governmental entities are not eligible to be a lead applicant, they may still serve as key partners in designing and implementing pilots.

To hear representatives from Federal agencies present the details of the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) on P3, including application requirements and selection criteria, for potential applicants, please register and join us for the P3 National Webinar on December 1st, from 3:30 to 5 pm EST.

Additional Resources:

Findyouthinfo.gov

P3 Application Package

Johan Uvin is the Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education and the co-chair of the federal Interagency Forum on Disconnected Youth.

White House Office Hours with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is joining us for special session of White House Office Hours on Wednesday, June 27th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. During a live Q&A on Twitter, Secretary Duncan will answer your questions about college affordability and the administration’s education policies and priorities.

Will you join us? Here’s how it works:

  • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
  • Follow the Q&A live through the @WHLive Twitter account
  • If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/WhiteHouse

Today, higher education isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity that every American family should be able to afford. But it’s also getting more and more expensive.

For the first time ever, Americans owe more in student loans than in credit card debt. That’s why the President is calling on Congress to keep interest rates low so that every hardworking student gets a fair shot at the skills and training needed to get a good job in today’s economy.

If Congress doesn’t act, interest rates on federal student loans will double on July 1 and more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt each.

Kori Schulman is Deputy Director of Outreach for the White House Office of Digital Strategy

Celebrating Success: 40 Years of Pell Grants

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

Chances are you know someone who wouldn’t have gone to college without the help of a Pell Grant. Since 1972, more than 60 million Americans have received financial assistance to earn their degree.  

As President Obama said in a message commemorating the 40th anniversary of the enactment of this program:

Forty years ago, our Nation codified a commitment to bringing higher education within reach for every American by creating the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant—later renamed the Federal Pell Grant after Senator Claiborne Pell, to honor his efforts in creating the program.  On this anniversary, we reflect on four decades of progress toward fulfilling that fundamental promise and rededicate ourselves to making college affordable for all.

Federal Pell Grants have helped millions of Americans achieve their fullest potential by not only opening the doors to college, but also providing students the financial support necessary to complete their studies and prosper in today’s economy.  That is why my Administration has prioritized Pell Grants as a source of funding they can count on each and every year.  We have provided resources to support a 50 percent increase in Pell Grant recipients, giving college access to millions of additional students across our country; aggressively raised the maximum Pell Grant award to keep pace with rising costs; and strengthened the Pell Grant Program by cutting banks out of Federal student lending and delivering financial aid directly to students.  By continuing to provide grants that extend educational opportunity to students, we make critical investments both in their personal success and in America’s success in the 21st century.

As we mark the 40th Anniversary of the Federal Pell Grant Program, we also celebrate the individuals and organizations who have worked to widen the circle of opportunity for countless Americans through higher education.  Today and tomorrow, let us recommit to empowering the next generation with the tools and resources they need to achieve their dreams.  I am confident that, through programs like Pell Grants, our Nation will reach our goal of once again leading the world in college completion by the year 2020.

Senator Claiborne Pell, the chief sponsor of the program, liked to say, ‘Any student with the talent, desire, and drive, should be able to pursue higher education.’ Because of his commitment and vision, millions of students from poor and working class backgrounds received the economic lifeline they need to earn a college degree. The Pell Grant program has literally transformed millions of lives.

In today’s global economy that’s more important than ever. High school graduation is no longer a path leading to a good paying job. College, or other postsecondary training, has never been more important to finding meaningful and substantial employment.

More students than ever are relying on Pell grants, and if we are to reach our goal of out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world, we need to continue our investment in Pell.

Arne Duncan is the US Secretary of Education

Secretary’s Mom Inspires National Service at Chicago Conference

Secretary Duncan discusses his hero -- his mom -- with CNN's Soledad O'Brien (left) and Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service at the National Conference of Volunteering and Service in Chicago on June 19.

Secretary Duncan discusses his hero -- his mom -- with CNN's Soledad O'Brien (left) and Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service at the National Conference of Volunteering and Service in Chicago on June 19.

Who inspires you?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s hero is his mother, Sue Duncan, who founded a tutoring center in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods 51 years ago, and continues to lead it today.

The Secretary used his mom’s story to stir an audience of more than 3,000 members of volunteer organizations from throughout the U.S., as she listened from the front row at the plenary session on “Celebrating the Power of Service in Education” for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in their hometown Chicago on June 19.  Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien joined Secretary Duncan for the session.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Duncan of his mom’s work, which began not far from the conference’s site with “just 9 girls in the downstairs of a church” and has grown to help thousands.

“You had kids — who started off very low, academically — start to do extraordinarily well,” he said. “There were no excuses. If kids weren’t fed, she’d feed them. If kids didn’t have clean clothes, we’d take their clothes home to wash them and bring them back the next day. Whatever it took to help kids fulfill their potential, that’s what her focus was.”

Sue Duncan also demonstrated courage, said her son.

“The church (where the tutoring center was located) was fire bombed,” he explained. “One of my earliest memories is of carrying boxes of books to a new church, to start over again.  We went from this situation with lots of potential violence early on to the community really embracing, supporting and actually protecting us.”

Community support is the vital ingredient of the Together for Tomorrow (TFT) initiative kicked-off earlier this year by ED, CNCS and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at a town hall meeting in Iowa.  This has been followed-up with additional forums throughout the nation. With about 25% of young Americans dropping-out of high school each year with no good job opportunities awaiting them, TFT “rallies entire communities to bring together resources in a very targeted and strategic way, to change children’s lives,” said Duncan.

“We need to wrap our hands our arms, our love around these children and support teachers, faculty members, administrators in any way we can. We can do this with service,” Spencer said.

Spencer said that she and Secretary Duncan will soon be announcing the first one-hundred communities across America that will participate in the TFT School Improvement Challenge for the 2012-2013 school year. The Challenge is an opportunity for schools and districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to join with other partners to improve their neediest schools by raising key measurable student outcomes. It is not a new grant program, but rather an approach to better coordinate resources and efforts. Applicants have until June 29, 2012, to submit their plans. More details about the Challenge are at tft.challenge.gov.

While funding is a consistent issue in education, Duncan has learned through his own experiences – beginning with his mother’s efforts — that money is not the ultimate solution.

“Some people think that the only way to fix education is to fix poverty first,” he said. “I think the only way to fix poverty is to fix education.”

Watch a video of the session.

–Julie Ewart is the Director of Communications and Outreach in ED’s Chicago Regional Office.

Endless Possibility

Secretary Duncan greets graduates at NTC

Secretary Duncan talks with students before commencement at Navajo Technical College. Official Department of Education photo by Paul Wood.

Endless possibility. That’s the motto of the Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint. N.M., and it’s more than just a catchy slogan: The students there are proving that with education, possibilities are endless.

Secretary Duncan visited NTC last Saturday to give the commencement address at graduation and to see the great work of NTC students. Duncan left the visit inspired to learn that NTC graduates are working in digital manufacturing, supercomputing and DNA research and are employed on contracts for NASA, Boeing and others.

While many other higher ed institutions that serve mostly minority populations often fail to graduate even half of their students, NTC graduates more than 85 percent. Prior to the graduation ceremony, Duncan visited NTC classrooms and even danced during a reception later in the day.

Visiting Native American reservations “are easily among the most rewarding and uplifting things that I have done over the past 3½ years,” Arne said at commencement. “I have walked in beauty with the Navajo people in this land, and it is an opportunity I will never forget.”

Click here to watch Secretary Duncan’s commencement speech, and watch a short summary below:


Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

Arne Makes Surprise Visit to Local High School to Thank Teachers

Secretary Arne Duncan made a surprise visit earlier today to Luke C. Moore High School in Washington, to thank teachers and school staff during their Teacher Appreciation Week breakfast celebration.

“I was so excited I almost tripped over the table,” said veteran math teacher Evelyn Merrick. “Secretary Duncan just walked in as a regular person.”

Luke C. Moore High School is a local School Improvement Grant recipient and has adopted an accelerated academic program with a focus on building critical thinking skills and project-based learning. Read more about Luke C. Moore.

Arne isn’t the only Department official talking with teachers at local schools today. Dozens of ED staff are visiting schools throughout the D.C. area and across the country as part of “ED Goes Back to School,” an organized effort of federal staff shadowing teachers.

The shadowing visits will offer ED officials an inside look at teachers’ day-to-day work while also giving teachers the opportunity to discuss how federal policy, programs, and resources play a role in their classrooms. On Wednesday evening, teachers and Department staff participating in “ED Goes Back to School” will join Duncan for a discussion to reflect on the experience.

Liz Utrup is the Assistant Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education

Ask the Teachers

Cross-posted from the Huffington Post.

When I ask teachers why they teach, they almost always say that it is because they want to make a difference in the lives of children. They talk about the joys of teaching and the singular rewards of watching children learn. Often they mention former students who get in touch years after they graduate to thank them for their success.

Yet stories of lasting and life-changing teacher-student relationships contrast starkly with what teachers say when asked about their profession. In short order, they lament inadequate training, top-down reforms, teaching to the test, budget cuts and a lack of time to collaborate.

Teachers talk about the pernicious effects of poverty and family breakdown on their students and the long hours that teachers put in nights and weekends that go unrecognized and uncompensated. Most teachers still say they love teaching though they wouldn’t mind a little more respect for their challenging work and a little less blame for America’s educational shortcomings.

With half of new teachers quitting within five years, and with half of current teachers set to retire in the next ten, the need for dramatic change in the field of education is both urgent and timely. There’s much underway and much more to be done, but whatever we do to strengthen and elevate the teaching profession, we should bear in mind that reforms that fail to heed the voice of teachers are doomed.

That’s why, for the last six months, 16 active classroom teachers working temporarily for the U.S. Department of Education as Teacher Ambassador Fellows have been doing a lot of listening. They have held over 200 meetings with their colleagues across the country to help shape a proposed $5 billion competitive program of the Obama administration to strengthen and elevate the teaching profession. It is called the RESPECT Project, which stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching.

When we ask teachers how the profession should change, their ideas are grounded in everyday experience. Teachers say their schools of education did not adequately prepare them for the classroom. They would have welcomed more mentoring and feedback in their early years. They say that effective principals and engaged parents are essential to creating the right conditions for learning.

Teachers embrace accountability, but say the current generation of tests is stifling teacher creativity and student engagement. Most of the ones we have spoken with are not against testing per se, but, they hope that new tests, now in development, will better measure critical thinking and student learning.

Teachers support evaluations based on multiple measures: student growth, classroom observation, and feedback from peers and parents. They neither want evaluations that are overly reliant on basic fill-in-the bubble tests, nor do they want evaluations that ignore the impact of teachers on student learning.

Compensation is rarely the first thing teachers complain about but, with starting pay averaging around $39,000 and top pay averaging around $67,000, teachers are underpaid compared to other professions. Many top college students do not consider teaching because the pay is too low. Others leave because they can’t support a family.

On performance pay, many teachers reject outright the idea of competing with their colleagues for bonuses, yet many also believe that great teaching-especially in low-income schools–should be financially rewarded. In Chicago, where I served as school CEO, a group of star teachers designed a performance pay program that rewarded all adults in the school, not just the teachers, for student gains.

Many teachers we have spoken with are open to changing rules around tenure. They think the bar for tenure should be higher. Many say it shouldn’t be guaranteed for life. But they are equally adamant that without due process, teachers are at risk of being fired for reasons unrelated to performance.

Teachers are most excited by the idea of career pathways with differentiated roles that offer the opportunity to earn more money without having to leave the classroom and the job they love. For example, student teachers and recent graduates could apprentice with mentor teachers. As they prove their effectiveness, they could advance to new roles–professional teachers, master teachers, and teacher leaders with increasing responsibility for running their schools and shaping curriculum.

What teachers say they want more than anything is time–time to collaborate, plan lessons, improve their practice, and work one-on-one or in small groups with their students. Unfortunately, we shoehorn schooling into a too-short school day and year.

Nothing is more important than preparing our children to compete and succeed in the global economy. That means we need to make teaching not only one of America’s most important professions but also one of America’s most valued profession.

America’s teachers are hungry for comprehensive reform to their profession and they are ready to lead the change. Indeed, they are the only ones who can.

Arne Duncan is the U.S. Secretary of Education

Duncan and Posny Join CEC Convention for Twitter Town Hall

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Alexa Posny, will join the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) during their 2012 Convention and Expo, for a Twitter Town Hall on Wednesday, April 11, at 3:00 pm ET.
 
Duncan and Posny will discuss and answer questions via Twitter on the importance of early learning, great teachers and leaders, high student achievement, and college and career readiness as we strive to improve results and outcomes for all infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
 
CEC’s Annual Conference and Expo in Denver will bring together experts and stakeholders in the field of special education to share and discuss current topics, research and practices related to children and youth with disabilities.
 
How to get involved:

    • Ask your questions before and during the event using the hashtag #CECTownHall.
    • Follow the conversation on April 11, at 3:00 pm ET, with the #CECTownHall hashtag and by following @usedgov, @arneduncan and @CECMembership

If you miss the Twitter Town Hall, a summary of the event will be posted on the Department’s Homeroom Blog following the town hall.

Learning International Lessons in Principal and Teacher Preparation

International Summit on the Teaching Profession

International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Photo by Andy Kropa for the Department of Education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined education leaders from twenty-three high-performing, rapidly-improving countries in New York City last week. Over the course of two days, each country shared ideas and successful, innovative practices for teacher preparation and school leader development during the second-ever International Summit on the Teaching Profession.

Just last year, the Department held the first Summit, bringing together not just national education ministers, but also union leaders in partnership with teachers, and education experts to help to shape the conversation. Through a public discourse, participants identified common challenges in education across different countries and cultures while also laying out the need for systematic reform.

The lessons learned from the practices of high-performing systems during last year’s Summit, had a big impact in the United States. It helped lay the groundwork for a new Obama Administration project called RESPECT, which stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching.

Last month, President Obama proposed this new competitive grant program to empower states and districts that commit to pursuing bold reforms at every stage of the teaching profession. Throughout the planning, teachers themselves had—and will continue to have—a major voice in shaping RESPECT. The Department’s team of Teaching Ambassador Fellows—active classroom teachers who spend a year working at the U.S. Department of Education—have already held more than 100 roundtable meetings with teachers across the country and will hold several more in the coming months. The development of RESPECT also benefitted enormously from the input of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, and from National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel’s and his leadership in the NEA’s Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching.

Translators at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession

Translators at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Photo by Andy Kropa for the Department of Education.

This year’s Summit reaffirmed the central role that school leaders and teachers play in successfully implementing reform to improve student learning and why the RESPECT project is so important to the United States. We heard, for example, from the head of Singapore’s National Institute of Education who talked about the knowledge, skills and values teachers need to be able to engage 21st century learners. Teachers in Singapore open their classrooms to colleagues to watch and listen so they can all work together to improve teaching and learning rather than closing their doors and working in isolation. This is truly a collaborative way to promote educational success and excellence and one the U.S. can work to emulate.

Certain practices and policies were repeated throughout the Summit like the need to attract talent to education through competitive pay scales and career-ladders; the benefits of providing support through school-to-school, principal-to-principal, and teacher-to-teacher networks; and the large-scale value of identifying high-level, common standards that are consistent from pre-K through high school in order to prepare students for college and careers.

With these great challenges come great opportunities. Engaging with international education leaders has contributed valuable insight and input that will help the U.S. continue our work to elevate our nation’s education system. Accomplishing this broad, imperative goal will depend on our ability to attract and retain great talent over the short term so the U.S. can effectively shape public education for generations to come.

We look forward to continuing the conversation at the next Summit, which will be convened by the Netherlands in Amsterdam in 2013.

Click here for more information on the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, and click here to read Secretary Duncan’s opening remarks.

Liz Utrup is the Assistant Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education