On April 12, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke on how to promote change in education to Mom Congress delegates, hosted by The School of Continuing Studies and Parenting magazine.
"We have to get better, we have to get better faster," Duncan said, continuing to explain that the U.S. once led the world in education and has recently fallen to ninth place amongst industrialized nations. Through tough reforms in early childhood development, parental development and school curriculums, the education secretary hopes the U.S. will once again lead the world in education by 2020.
The best investment is in childhood education, Duncan explained. In order to better our communities there needs to be an increase in education, he continued.
One area in need of a push is parental development, Duncan said. For a positive turnaround in education, parents need to be more involved. "Strong moms have a big impact," Duncan said.
Budget cuts have created a major narrowing in school’s curriculums, Duncan explained. School's need to get back to a well-rounded curriculum with additions in the STEM fields, arts and languages. Duncan has asked the government for $1 billion in funding to help make these changes in the curriculum.
Duncan also addressed his concerns about the No Child Left Behind law, the allocation of money for teacher's professional development and the fact that schools still run on the Agrarian Calendar. "[The Government] is great at starting new things, not great at stopping old things," said Duncan.
Secretary Duncan answered a few questions at the conclusion of his address before a representative from Parenting magazine announced that nominations are currently being accepted for The Mom Congress School Transformation Grant Contest, which will award a $20,000 School Transformation Grant to the winning school later this year.