U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan got his show on the road here Wednesday, hyping the promise of technology to transform education as he embarked on a series of back-to-school pep talks across the country.
In two days in Silicon Valley, Duncan displayed the enthusiasm for change that has marked his 3½ years as educator-in-chief and defended the Obama Administration's relentless push for higher standards and achievement, better teaching, education equity and now, technology in the classroom.
"Our challenge is to make great education the norm," he told an auditorium full of students, teachers and community leaders at Sequoia High School. He lauded the progress at the school, where 51 percent of the students come from poor families and 25 percent are undocumented immigrants, yet 68 percent of juniors and seniors take at least one honor course and nearly all graduates continue to some kind of colleges, according to Principal Bonnie Hansen.
Duncan touted the federal Dream Act, which would allow undocumented students to enroll in college, join the military or legally work. "We can't afford to keep that talent on the sidelines," he said to applause.