- At NBC's fourth-annual Education Nation Summit, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the United States is in "a real state of crisis" regarding not only its lagging math, technology and literacy skills, but its growing opportunity gap.
- A recent study based on tests from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows the U.S. ranking near the middle in literacy and close to the bottom in math and technology, while Japan, Finland, Canada and Australia were among countries posting the best results in all three fields.
- The study also illustrated the difficulty kids with uneducated parents face in trying to get ahead, and Duncan touted the need to make higher education more affordable and the importance of integrating technology in education.
Duncan makes a good point regarding the opportunity gap, as poor families are less likely to be capable of providing their children with the same educational opportunities as their more affluent counterparts. Ensuring that children from all class levels have access to early education and technology is a good start that will better prepare them later on. While none of these things should be a political issue, making higher education more affordable is likely to be especially tricky due to ongoing funding cut trends.