April 8, 2009
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan took his message of change and reform to an audience of young adults when he visited Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. On stage before a performance by recording artist Neko Case, Secretary Duncan made a special appeal to the college-aged crowd to consider careers in teaching. “We have a chance to change the country,” he said. "We want to make sure every child has a great, great teacher. So I want to encourage you…Those of you who love music, love art, love math…We need that next generation of teachers coming in."
Neko Case: Hi everybody. How are you doing? Well it's been exactly a year since I was in DC and a lot has changed. We have a new President which is really exciting, and I haven't broken my ankle yet. Yet. But, I wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine, because I am very excited about education, because I am someone who didn't really have any, and I had to really kind of scramble to get it and so I love the idea of education being more accessible for everybody so… I am all nervous. This is Mr. Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education.
Secretary Duncan: Thank you so much, I'll be quick because you are not here to listen to me to talk tonight. I know that. I am just thrilled to be here. We have a chance I think to change the country. We've got an extraordinary President, and we have a chance to dramatically improve the quality of education in this country — give him a huge round of applause. We are so lucky to have President Obama, and we just want to work as hard as we can to give every child a chance to have a great, great education. So, we appreciate your support. We have to do more with the arts. We have to do more with music. We have to do more to give all our children the chance to be successful, and we have to make sure every child has a great, great teacher. So, I want to encourage you who are thinking about different things — those of you that love music, love art, love math, love chess, love debate. We need that next generation of teachers coming in.
So, thank you so much for your hard work. Thank you for your support and together we have to educate our way to a better economy. We have to take care of our children and together we are going to do that.
Thank you so much. Have a great night.
Neko Case: Thank you, Mr. Duncan.
So, we are going to come back in about ten minutes, and I want all of you to decide that you are going to be either a teacher or a tutor in the ten minutes that we are off stage. Excellent. Thank you.