In what seems to have become an annual ritual, I'm here again today to report on the state of education in America. What I can tell you after nearly five years in Washington is that the public narrative that you hear inside the Beltway and online doesn't reflect the reality I see in classrooms and schools all across America.
Good morning everyone. It's great to be here and help kick off this important conference and critical conversation.
It is always important to me, and I always look forward to the opportunity to address the National HBCU Conference. This year in particular we are at a challenging, pivotal moment in supporting both the enduring and the evolving role of HBCUs.
Just four days from now, Republicans on Capitol Hill are threatening to shut down the government.
I will be brief today so we can get to an important discussion.
Last month, President Obama unveiled a landmark plan to address our country's "crisis of college affordability and student debt."
2013 “Strong Start, Bright Future” Bus Tour Closing Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Castle Park Middle School Town Hall, Chula Vista, CA
It's a treat to be here at Castle Park Middle School and to hear about Chula Vista's fantastic Promise Neighborhood program.
Today, we're wrapping up a five-day bus tour of the Southwest and West. I want to tell you about what I saw—and how the transformation of Castle Park Middle School is a beautiful example of what I learned.
Thank you & acknowledgements
Thank you, Hugh [Price]. It's a special honor to be introduced by someone who has been a leader and innovator in improving education and in tearing down the national shame of Jim Crow. I know how personal this anniversary is to you, since you served as a marshal in the March on Washington. It's an absolute privilege to be here with you, and so many other distinguished leaders this morning.
Good morning. Thank you, Christie, for the kind introduction, and for your tremendous work here at USAID. I also want to recognize Administrator Rajiv Shah and Assistant Administrator Eric Postel, for their leadership.
Thanks, Mike, for the kind introduction. It's a pleasure to join all of you.
The theme of this leadership conference—"building bridges"—is fitting.
Today, I'd like to talk with you about how the Administration and the Department of Education are continuing to support education reform and success for all students in the second term.
It is a pleasure to join you today to speak about the nation’s higher education agenda.
Before I begin my formal remarks, let me say that there is a lot going on right now on Capitol Hill. Because Congress has failed to agree on a solution, interest rates on new subsidized student loans doubled on July 1, costing seven million students an average of $1,000.
A lot has changed since I spoke here four years ago. I want to use this opportunity both to reflect on the theme of your conference"Delivering On the Dream"and to ask you to think ahead about what the charter movement should seek to accomplish in the next 20 years.