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Education Secretary Responds To A Teacher

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By Michael Pope

In Virginia, Education Secretary Arne Duncan participated in a convocation ceremony at T. C. Williams High School. But, as Michael Pope reports, one teacher challenged the secretary on No Child Left Behind.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan's love of basketball is well known. Yet in his first year on the Harvard basketball team, the school ranked next to last in the Ivy League. And his senior year, when Duncan was captain, the record was 7 and 17. During a convocation ceremony at T.C. Williams High School, teacher Patrick Welsh asked him about this.

"I think by any standard I would call that a persistently lowest achieving basketball team, and there was no annual yearly progress," says Welsh.

Earlier this year, T.C. Williams was dubbed a persistently lowest achieving school for years of failing to make adequate yearly progress.

"You guys did the best you could, and I think there are a lot of schools out there who are doing the best they can with the students they have. And still your department is marking them as failing," he says.

The secretary agreed its a flawed measure and he challenged the teacher on his perception that schools are doing the best they can with the students they have.

"We have to, as a country, raise our expectations of what we can do for every single child," says Duncan.


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