On 20 March 2009, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed 4,000 attendees at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. “Science education is central to our broader effort to restore American leadership in education worldwide,” Duncan said, continuing with stark figures on the standing of United States education in the “science race.” The Secretary continued, stating “[President Obama] understands that a nation not only needs its poets and scholars to give us words and wisdom, but also its inventors and engineers to design new cell phones, rebuild the levees of New Orleans, and find new sources of energy and new treatments for disease. Moreover, he is a president who will not allow scientific research to be held hostage to a political agenda. Whether it’s global warming, evolution, or stem cell research, science will be honored, respected, and supported by this administration.” The Secretary also challenged science teachers to “move the curriculum beyond dinosaurs and volcanoes” and take the best ideas “to scale in tough inner-city districts…as well as rural areas that cannot find qualified teachers in every subject.” “You need to make inquiry-based science relevant to kids, stimulate their curiosity, connect it with their lives,” he concluded. “Together, we need to change the national dialogue about science, to prepare our kids to be both honestly critical and technically competent.”

For more information, please go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/03/03202009.html.

 


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