2,000 miles, 11 cities to Highlight 8 Years of Progress
Today I kicked off our Opportunity Across America bus tour in front of the Department of Education. Over the next week, we’re visiting 11 cities and towns and covering more than 1,800 miles to highlight the positive change that has happened in the past 7 years and the groundwork that has been laid for continued progress.
Although we have a lot of work left ahead of us as a nation, we would be remiss to not appreciate the changes that we’ve made to ensure more students have the opportunity to get a world-class education.
A few highlights include:
● In 2009, only 38 states offered students access to state-funded preschool. Today, all but four states offer preschool to young children.
● Today, 49 states and D.C. have adopted and are implementing college- and career-ready standards and aligned assessments for their students.
● High school graduation rates are at an all-time high and dropout rates are at historic lows.
● We have invested billions of dollars to support struggling schools.
● Today, 77 percent of school districts have access to high-speed internet, up from just 30 percent before President Obama launched his ConnectED program. That equates to an additional 20 million students being able to connect to the power of the internet.
● We have invested $2.9 billion to develop educator talent and support educators in high-needs school districts.
● Our nation’s new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which President Obama signed in December 2015, creates opportunities for states to reclaim the goal of a rigorous, well-rounded education for every child. The law also advances equity and lives up to its civil rights heritage by upholding critical protections and maintaining dedicated resources for America’s most disadvantaged students so that all children can access a quality education and have the chance to achieve their full potential.
We are working tirelessly to ensure that every student in America — regardless of zip code or background — has the opportunities that a high quality education provides.
I’m excited to start our #OpportunityTour. I hope you will join us at one of the stops or follow along on Twitter with me at @JohnKingatED and @usedgov, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and of course, I’ll be recapping my day right here on Medium.