“Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.”
— Cesar Chavez
Escuela Popular “educates to transform lives” as it carries out its mission on North White Road in San Jose, California. Open throughout the year, Escuela Popular (http://www.escuelapopular.org/) offers a dual language curriculum for children and adults to more than 1000 students a day. The Dual Language Academy serves K-8 students, the High School Academy serves youth and adults, and childcare is freely provided so all family members are welcome.
With more than a million veterans returning home to our nation’s shores over the next five years, we have an unprecedented opportunity – and a civic obligation – to strengthen their pathways to success. To prepare for their return home and their transition back to civilian life, the Obama Administration sought – early on– to bring diverse government partners to the table, calling for an interagency planning effort to support Service members’ career readiness.
It’s that time of year- are you ready for college? This season, tens of thousands of high school seniors have been or will be making crucial, life-changing decisions about where to attend college. The Department of Education has several resources to help with this process that I wish I had three years ago when I was in your shoes. The Department is dedicated to empowering students and families to make responsible and informed decisions about where to attend school. This administration is focused on aiding students and families in this complicated process- choosing the right school that will equip you for a career will strengthen your future and our economy.
On a sparkling Bowling Green morning in early November, we arrived at Western Kentucky University where Gary Ransdell, WKU’s visionary president, opened the Seventh Annual Kentucky Engagement Conference. He called for “A New Era of Engagement” in the civic life of the campus, the community and the state. Dr. Paul Markham, Assistant Professor of Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, had worked with President Ransdell and a team of faculty and students to convene Kentucky’s thought leaders from education, government, business and philanthropy to invigorate a call to civic leadership and shared action to seek solutions to the challenges they face. For higher education, there was clearly a clarion call for deeper civic learning across the curriculum and deeper engagement in service learning opportunities to make a difference in K-12 schools and community work. Markham and his colleagues were particularly interested in building bridges between the traditional aims of liberal education and practical career preparation. Markham expressed his desire for the students of WKU to graduate not only with superior content knowledge, but with an understanding of what it means to practice citizenship in the working world. Markham has now moved to the University of Washington where he is slated to accelerate their civic learning and engagement agenda. Look for more good work to come from Paul and his colleagues in the West.
This summer I interned in the Office of the Under Secretary. I was one of two interns in the office. OUS is a very fast-paced and busy office so this allowed for both of us to have plenty of great learning opportunities throughout the summer. In my capacity, I helped plan and coordinate events, conducted data analysis, and worked on teacher preparation program quality issues.
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Under Secretary Martha Kanter
As a community college president for 16 years before being appointed the Under Secretary of Education, I wanted to do everything in my power to prevent violence on campus. Building trust among the campus constituencies with the campus chief of police was essential as a first step.
According to a new report from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education, we can do a lot more to keep our campuses safe. To do so, top experts say, requires the combined efforts of students, faculty, administrators and campus security, zero-tolerance for threats and harassment, and immediate reporting of concerns to campus or law enforcement officials who are trained in threat assessment.
Posted on July 20, 2012 by Under Secretary Martha Kanter
As the plane took off for Washington, DC and I leaned back in my seat reflecting on the convening in Minneapolis, I could almost see a golden halo around the Twin Cities region, a region of commitment, courage, dedication and promise! It might have been the sunset glow, but I think it was much more than that. The golden glow was certainly evident at the Minneapolis Club on the evening of June 7th where the Twin Cities United Way President and CEO Sarah Caruso brought to the table leaders from education, business, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The topic of discussion? How to close the achievement gap in the region’s P-12 schools by working together to accomplish much more than could ever be envisioned in silos.
On Thursday, May 10, the White House hosted a Financial Capability Summit to shine a spotlight on the importance of helping Americans, and particularly young Americans seeking a college education, make smart decisions about financial matters. One result is a new draft “Financial Capability Toolkit” – which is designed to be a resource guide to help schools, colleges, communities, and employers design a strategy to help students, workers, and community residents make wise decisions that put them on the path to a strong financial future. Leaders of this effort in the White House and here in the Department of Education want feedback on this toolkit before it is released in final form. Please check out these two sections – one for K-12 schools (link) and another for institutions of higher education (link) – and kindly share your reactions and suggestions below. In addition, please visit the White House website where you can, if desired, submit feedback on the entire document:
I had always thought of a crosswalk as that place in a road or street where there are markings designating where pedestrians can, more or less safely, walk from one side to another. That seems to be close to the current dictionary definition too.
What I did not realize, until I arrive at the Department of Education, is that the noun “crosswalk” and the verb (yes, verb) “to crosswalk” have expanded meanings the public and private sectors that do not even show up in dictionaries.
Posted on April 25, 2012 by Under Secretary Martha Kanter
Most people agree there is a lamentable lack of constructive, civil discourse in Washington, D.C. these days. So you can imagine how delighted I was to be interviewed early last month by Congressman John Tierney, (6th CD, MA), as his guest on the latest installment of “Conversations with Congressman Tierney.” Congressman Tierney is the only New England member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which makes him a vital link between hundreds of colleges and thousands of students and the U.S. Department of Education. In our interview, Congressman Tierney asked me to review our Department’s progress in implementing the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which he co-authored in 2009 and which was incorporated into the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 which President Obama signed into law on March 30, 2010.