The 74 Interview


Watch — Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Priorities for a New School Year: As the World Changes Faster Than Our Education Systems, America Risks Being Left Behind

September 11, 2018

This is one in a series of summer videos with experts and thought leaders on the state of American education, going into the 2018 school year. Watch all the videos, and read other in-depth interviews, by visiting our 74 Interview section.

Arne Duncan, former secretary of the Department of Education and current managing partner of the Emerson Collective, sits down to talk about the future of education and the top four priorities every state must have if it’s going to help its graduates adapt to a rapidly, radically changing world: access to high-quality pre-K, increasing the high school graduation rate, ensuring all high school graduates are ready for both college and career, and accelerating college completion rates. He says our education systems are not currently keeping pace with the world and that this might lead to dire consequences when it comes to America preserving its quality of life: “The world has changed much faster than education has,” he says. “If we’re not competitive, those jobs are going to go anywhere in the world … We have to fight hard to keep those middle-class jobs here, or else we move towards a caste system. And that worries me tremendously.”

Produced by James Fields