Former Education Secretaries Talk “A Nation at Risk” & ESSA

Former Education Secretaries Talk “A Nation at Risk” & ESSA

April 13, 2018

Seven U.S. Department of Education Secretaries came together recently to mark the 35th anniversary of the landmark “A Nation at Risk” report. Leading a discussion, former ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton referenced the Collaborative for Student Success’ and Bellwether Education Partners’ www.checkstateplans.org independent review of state ESSA plans, noting that the review found that “the states largely squandered the opportunity provided” by ESSA to “create stronger, more innovative” plans. Compton directed a question to former Education Secretary Arne Duncan on the topic: “Can the states pick up and get the accountability and have the plans that have been approved so far, should they have been?” “I don’t think they squandered, I think they did exactly what they wanted to do,” Duncan responded. “They knew what they were doing. It wasn’t an accident.” Click here to see the entire discussion (the exchange quoted above starts around 1:54).