Education Secretary Says Teachers Should Be ‘Revered’

By Susan Jones | August 31, 2010 | 9:51 AM EDT

( – Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the larger challenge in education is to improve the status of the teaching profession so that teachers feel respected and valued.
“Teaching must be a much more revered profession,” he told a group of educators at Keene State College in Keene, N.H. on Monday night.  “Teachers haven’t been revered for a while.”
Duncan is on a “Courage in the Classroom” bus tour.  While visiting schools in different states, he plans to “honor and listen to teachers, meet with parents and students, and highlight success,” as his blog says.
At Keene State College, Duncan asked how the nation can recruit and retain one million new teachers over the next four years and improve the way teachers are prepared for the job.
Earlier on Monday, Duncan visited the headquarters of the New York State United Teachers union, to hear how districts and teachers are “building models to support teacher development and improve teacher evaluation.”
“The common goal that we all have is that every child has an effective teacher,” NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi told the secretary, state officials, and union leaders at the event.
With the help of a federal grant awarded under the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” program, New York plans to create a new teacher evaluation program.
“We’re investing in you because of your collective leadership, your collective courage, and your willingness to take on these tough issues,” Duncan told the group.

The Obama administration has ruffled some teachers unions with its Race to the Top competition. For example, the National Education Association has praise the administration’s commitment to improving public education, but also has expressed concern about using student test scores to evaluate teachers and emphasizing charter schools as a tool for reform.