September 26, 2011 — Coral Gables — Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala said the nation still has goals to accomplish before it succeeds in instituting education reform.
“We’re not there yet,” President Shalala said. “We’re in fits and starts, and we still fail to recognize that it’s not just metrics and testing. It’s investment in teachers, in families.”
Her comments were part of a special roundtable discussion on public schools and how politics and policy affect the debate over reform. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics Tim Shriver, and PBS’s Tavis Smiley joined President Shalala on the roundtable, which aired September 25 and helped kick off NBC’s weeklong Education Nation summit.
During the roundtable discussion, moderated by NBC journalist David Gregory, President Shalala also said the nation’s graduating high school seniors must not only have the ability to read and write but must also be able to absorb new knowledge “because we can’t predict what they’re going to need to know ten years from now.”
“We do know that they have to have a set of skills so they can absorb new technology, so they can understand the new things that are coming at them, and that’s very important. And higher education has a role,” said Shalala, who served for eight years as secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration and was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993.
Click here to see the roundtable.
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