Secretary Duncan and John Merrow during the #AskArne Twitter Town Hall (Official Department of Education Photo by Paul Wood)
“I love my job,” Secretary Duncan said at the close of yesterday’s second #AskArne Twitter Town Hall, moderated by education journalist John Merrow.
Merrow covered a wide-range of education topics including teacher pay, early learning, and how to get more young people excited about teaching. Here are several of the topics Arne addressed:
Merrow pointed to a couple of Twitter questions about respecting teachers, and asked Arne if he believes that teachers have been subject to “teacher bashing.” Duncan agreed:
@usedgov: Arne: “No question” teacher bashing is happening. We need to elevate, not demean, the profession. #askarne
“Whether it’s teachers or the teaching profession,” Duncan explained, “we’re trying to do everything we can to elevate it, to strengthen it. To make sure we celebrate excellence, and to make sure that collective bargaining rights are maintained.
@tbfurman: Has the charter school movement begun to “police itself” – as you asked them to do last July? #AskArne
@usedgov: Arne on charters: I see bad charters being phased out & closed down. There’s more work to be done. #AskArne
@usedgov: Arne: Need a high bar for charter schools. The chance to educate children is a sacred obligation. #AskArne
Later the topic of charters reemerged and Duncan explained:
@usedgov: Duncan: Where charter schools are high-performing, we want to support them. Where they aren’t, they’re part of the problem. #AskArne
@SteveGrose: Mich lawmakers are on a path to increase school choice without requiring improved quality. Is choice a reform model? #askarne
@usedgov: Arne: For choice to work, it has to be choices between quality. #AskArne
@usedgov: Arne: It’s really important to empower parents. If parents are not empowered, I’d have a problem with that. #AskArne
@usedgov: Re: testing, we need to be evaluating students’ knowledge, but drilling on fill-in-bubble tests isn’t best way to do that #AskArne
Student Loan Debt:
@EDSuccess: #AskArne what policies are @usedgov considering to address student loan debt at public and non-profit schools?
@usedgov: Very proud of Obama admin’s progress on student aid, esp direct lending to cut out middlemen banks and put $40B into Pell Grants #AskArne
@usedgov: Find out more about lowering your student loan payments at http://studentaid.ed.gov
Stacy Casson: #AskArne When will this country make a serious investment in early childhood education for all children. Proven ROI as seen in Head Start.
Duncan noted the Obama Administration’s commitment to early learning programs through programs such as the recently announced Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge:
@usedgov: Re: early learning, it’s the best investment we can make. And @USEDgov is investing $500M into states for access to quality. #AskArne
To see all the tweets from the event, follow @usedgov on Twitter, and you can watch the archived video here. To keep up to date with ED on Twitter follow @ArneDuncan, @usedgov, @ED_Outreach, @EDPressSec or click here to see all of ED’s social media accounts.