When Department of Education employees gather in the auditorium at the ED headquarters in Washington, DC, they normally aren’t greeted to a line of high school cheerleaders waving pom-poms and cheering. But such was the scene yesterday as Secretary Duncan and Deputy Secretary Tony Miller thanked ED employees for their dedication and service as part of Public Service Recognition Week.
Deputy Secretary Miller thanked ED employees for all the energy they bring to the Department each day. He also highlighted and thanked employees for their service outside of government as volunteers in local communities. Miller noted that employees not only serve America’s school children while in their careers, but many dedicate time after work and on weekends to volunteering through local tutoring programs, their PTA, or even by teaching classes.
Secretary Duncan thanked the entire ED staff – including all the regional employees who were watching online-for their extraordinary commitment in working “every single day to help change our country’s future and fortune, and to help change the lives of our children.”
First Lady Michelle Obama also thanked public servants in the video below as part of the White House’s observance of Public Service Recognition Week.
“Education reform and our global competitiveness depend on all of us embracing innovative ideas and technologies,” said Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller earlier today at the Educational Innovation and Technology Think Tank at Harvard University. Miller highlighted the fact that millions of American jobs are unfilled because employers can’t find qualified applicants, and the number could rise if our students aren’t prepared to work with technology in the 21st Century workforce.
Increasing the number of Americans who are earning college degrees is going to take an education transformation that relies on technology innovation and new business models. President Obama made this case during his State of the Union address by noting that “we need to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competition.”
Miller referenced the President’s call to win the future, and provided examples of how places of learning across the country are already using technology to save money, improve services, and connect teachers like never before.
Deputy Secretary Miller explained that the Department of Education, through initiatives like the National Education Technology Plan, is doing everything it can to embrace the transformative potential of technology and ensuring that educational environments offered to students keep pace with the 21st century.