Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Duncan: Rural America Must Create College-Going Culture

This from Politics K-12:

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who certainly isn't known for crafting policies aimed at rural America, issued this challenge today to a group of rural advocates: "Make a commitment to ensure rural students complete college at higher rates."

For his part, Duncan said his department—and others across the Obama administration—will help.

He spoke alongside Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Washington at the National Summit on the Role of Education in Economic Development in Rural America, sponsored by the Education Commission of the States.

Duncan used his speech as another opportunity to tout President Obama's challenge that the U.S. lead the world in producing college graduates by 2020. Rural America "hasn't created a college-going culture," Duncan said.

He also used the speech as an opportunity to talk about how he thinks his agenda helps rural schools—from his ESEA reauthorization draft to the 300 rural schools that are using School Improvement Grant money to turn themselves around. He pointed to the administration's Promise Neighborhoods program (targeted at poor, urban areas) as money that can be tapped to help impoverished, rural America...

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