Secretary’s Regional Representative: Region V, U.S. Department of Education
October 21, 2008
Secretary Cohn was invited as the keynote speaker at the October 21st luncheon forum hosted by the Niagara Foundation in our new location. Secretary Cohn discussed the federal role in the U.S. education system as well as the status of the educational system in the United States, by both discussing the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), including the Nation’s Report Card, and debunking myths and misunderstandings surrounding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, including its current reauthorization: the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
According to state wide test results recently released, elemntary student performance is continuing to improve, while the results of high school students remained the same as previous scores, and in some cases, fell. Secretary Cohn also discussed the achievement gap in Illinois between the “have’s” and the “have not’s.” Historically, this gap has revealed a significant difference in the academic performance of black and hispanic students versus their white counterparts. While this gap remains, it is slowly lessening in magnitude. Another leading education indicator, high school graduation, shows that while the overall graduation rate in the U.S has increased over the last several years, the results are less promising among minorities, as half of all African-American students drop out, and almost half of all African-American and Hispanic students do not graduate on time.
During a brief question and answer session following her presentation, Secretary Cohn provided responses to a series of questions posed by attendees, ranging in topic from parental support of students, including parental ability in helping students in several aspects, from educational concerns and support to fiscal responsibility, to the responsibilities that teachers have in regards to their students, concerning both what should, and shouldn’t be expected of them.
The Niagara Foundation would like to again thank Secretary Cohn for her time in contributiing to our luncheon forum series.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 4240
Chicago, IL, US, 60601