Arne Duncan, the United States secretary of education, said that the country was lagging far behind its international competitors, and that he supported New York’s efforts to implement a reform agenda.
He told an audience of foundation leaders that he supported revisions to teacher evaluation systems, new learning standards and the tests to assess them, all to ensure that students leave high school with “21st century skills.”
“The biggest challenge I think we all face is that we’re all told we’re going too fast,” he said. “When in fact we are going far, far, far too slow. The world is passing us by.”
Mr. Duncan was joined on stage by the state education commissioner, John B. King Jr., and the New York City schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, at the annual meeting of Philanthropy New York, a group of foundations based in New York.
Their conversation covered most of the hot-button education issues, with special attention paid to the Common Core Learning Standards, and building better state assessments to test the new standards.