U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) last week in his first detailed speech since President Obama’s reelection. In his remarks, Duncan outlined areas of priority for the U.S. Department of Education over the next four years.
Duncan, who is presumed to stay for a second term with the Obama Administration, made clear that his focus will continue to be innovation. School Improvement Grants, which the Secretary noted spurred measurable improvements for two-thirds of participating schools last term, will be a priority. Other priorities for improvement include:
- Teaching profession
- Principal preparation and evaluation
- Early childhood education
- College affordability
Duncan made clear that the Department of Education will not focus heavily on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) unless Congress takes action to reauthorize the act. As for the ESEA waivers currently approved in many states, Duncan’s work will continue and will possibly include district-level ESEA waivers.
Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager