Education Secretary Highlights Asia Society Work

Minnijean Brown Trickey (left), one of the "Little Rock Nine," with Secretary Duncan. (

At the opening of his back-to-school tour, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited an Asia Society study on how countries with the best education systems can invest more wisely in teachers. "Nothing is more important... than the quality and skill of the person standing in the front of the class," he said.

"The Asia Society recently held an international symposium on teacher quality and they found that high-performing countries put much more energy into recruiting, preparing, and supporting good teachers," said Secretary Duncan, quoting the report.

He added, "Our competitors in other parts of the world recognize that the roles of teachers are changing. Today, they are expected to prepare knowledge workers, not factory workers, and to help every child succeed, not just the [ones who are] easy to teach."

“It is gratifying to see that Secretary Duncan and the Obama Administration recognize the value of learning with the world’s highest performing nations to improve teaching and student performance,” said Asia Society Vice President for Education Tony Jackson.  “We look forward to opportunities to continue that dialogue.”