Former U.S. Education Secretary, Dr. John King, Jr. – An Exceptionally Talented Educator


DEPEND ON YOU OUR NEXT GUEST HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS A TESTAMENT TO THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF EDUCATION BY THE TIME HE WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD HE HAD LOST BOTH OF HIS PARENTS TO ILLNESS BUT HE CREDITS SOLID PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS AS THE PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED HIM TO KEEP GOING FAST FORWARD TO TODAY DR. JOHN B. KING JUNIOR HAS SERVED AS THE US SECRETARY OF EDUCATION UNDER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA WHO DESCRIBED HIM AS AN EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED EDUCATOR. DR. KING IS CURRENTLY THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE EDUCATION TRUST AND WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE DR. KING WITH US IN HISTORIC STUDIO THIS AFTERNOON. DR. KING THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ONE OF THE RIGHT TO BE HERE. TELL ME GIVE ME AN OVERVIEW OF THE EDUCATION TRUST. SURE THE EDUCATION TRUST AN ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS TO ENSURE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR LOW INCOME STUDENTS AND STUDENTS OF COLOR. AND WE DO RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY WOULD YOU WORK HERE IN MARYLAND AND AROUND THE COUNTRY TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT SCHOOLS CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL KIDS OKAY. SO WE SAID THAT YOU ARE A WALKING TALKING LIVING TESTAMENT OF THE POWER OF EDUCATION HOW HAS IT HELPED YOU WELL IT JUST MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE. BOTH MY PARENTS WERE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATORS THEIR WHOLE LIVES. SO I ALWAYS HAD THIS APPRECIATION FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL BUT THEN BOTH MY PARENTS PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS A KID? MY MOM I WAS EIGHT IN OCTOBER FOURTH GRADE AND THEN I LIVE WITH MY DAD WHO WAS QUITE SICK WITH UNDIAGNOSED ALZHEIMER’S. SO HOME WAS THIS PLACE WHERE I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT MY FATHER WOULD BE LIKE FROM ONE NIGHT TO THE NEXT SOME NIGHT TO SEND SOME LETTERS ANGRY SOMEBODY TO TALK TO ME SOME NIGHTS HE WOULDN’T TO HOME WAS REALLY HARD. BUT SCHOOL WAS THIS PLACE THAT WAS SAFE CONSISTENT NURTURING I JUST HAD A SERIES OF PHENOMENAL TEACHERS WHO REALLY MEANS SCHOOL THAT THIS PLACE WHERE YOU REALLY EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF LEARNING. I CAN REMEMBER DOING A PRODUCTION OF A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHAKESPEARE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WE READ NEW YORK TIMES EVERY DAY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR A FIFTH SIXTH GRADE. AND SO THE SCHOOL WAS THIS PLACE WHERE I COULD KID WHEN I COULDN’T BE A KID AT HOME MY DAD PASSED AND I WAS TWELVE I MOVED AROUND DIFFERENT FAMILY MEMBERS DIFFERENT SCHOOLS BUT THERE’S ALWAYS TEACHERS WHO GAVE ME A SENSE OF HOPE AND POSSIBILITY I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS BUT MY GOODNESS HOW IT HAS TURNED OUT TO THE BENEFIT FOR. FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. CAN CAN WE TALK ABOUT EDUCATION TODAY FOR JUST A SECOND. WHAT KIND OF GAPS DO YOU SEE COMPARED TO HOW YOU GREW UP. WITH WHAT’S GOING ON AT WELL I WAS VERY BLESSED TO GET AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION IN NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL I WORRY TODAY THAT THERE ARE MANY KIDS AROUND THE COUNTRY WHO AREN’T GETTING THE OPPORTUNITY THAT THEY NEED AND WE SEE THAT PLAY OUT IN VERY SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT GAPS FOR LOW INCOME STUDENTS AND FOR STUDENTS OF COLOR. WE SEE THAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS AND LATINO STUDENTS ARE GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL AT A MUCH LOWER RATE. THEY ARE GOING ON TO COLLEGE AT A LOWER RATE THAN WHITE STUDENTS. WE SEE THAT LOW INCOME STUDENTS HAVE MUCH LESS CHANCE OF GOING ON TO COLLEGE AND SUCCEEDING IN COLLEGE AND THOSE ARE GAPS WE HAVE TO CLOSE FOR THE LONG TERM HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND AND OF OUR COUNTRY TODAY IN OUR NATION’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS ARE STUDENTS OF COLOR THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR REDUCED PRICE LUNCH. IF WE FAIL AS A COUNTRY TO EDUCATE LOW INCOME STUDENTS AND SUITS OF COLOR OUR ECONOMY HAS NO FUTURE. DEMOCRACY HAS NO FUTURE. THE STAKES ARE VERY HIGH IN ENSURING THAT ALL OF OUR SCHOOLS DO A GOOD JOB PREPARING STUDENTS FOR SUCCESS NOT ONLY AFTER THEY GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL BUT SUCCESS IN LIFE AND AS CITIZENS SO DO YOU THINK THERE’S A SIMPLE RESOLUTE TO HOW TO CLOSE THOSE GAPS. IT’S NO SIMPLE RESOLUTION BUT THERE ARE THERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS WE HAVE TO DO ACTUALLY. IN MARYLAND THERE IS A COMMISSION CURLING COMMISSION THAT WAS CREATED TO DEVELOP A PLAN FOR THE STATE STATE IS ABOUT MIDDLE OF THE PACK PERFORMANCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY THE CURRENT COMMISSION CREATE THIS PLAN FOR HOW THE STATE COULD BECOME FIRST IN THE NATION AND THAT PLAN RELIES ON MAKING SURE KIDS HAVE ACCESS TO QUALITY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION MAKING SURE WE PAY OUR TEACHERS WELL AND THAT WE ATTRACT STRONG TEACHERS AND THAT WE SUPPORT THEM WITH GOOD PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO HELP THEM GROW. MAKING SURE THAT OUR STUDENTS GET A RICH QUALITY CURRICULUM THAT PREPARES THEM FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE AND CAREERS INVESTING IN QUALITY CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT. SO THIS PLAN BLUEPRINT THAT THEY’VE CREATED I THINK IS THE RIGHT DIRECTION. IT WILL REQUIRE INVESTMENT OF RESOURCES AND SO WE’VE GOT TO TALK AS THE STATE ABOUT HOW WE INVEST THE RIGHT LEVEL OF RESOURCES IN OUR SCHOOLS. BUT THERE’S NO MORE IMPORTANT INVESTMENT THAT WE COULD MAKE THAN INVESTING IN OUR KIDS. SO IS THAT HOW WE AS A COMMUNITY COME INTO THIS TALKING WITH COMMUNITY THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. WELL THERE ARE A FEW THINGS. ONE IS THERE ARE IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITIES TO VOLUNTEER AND CONTRIBUTE TO SCHOOLS WHETHER IT’S MENTORING YOUNG PEOPLE OR PARTICIPATING IN INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO NEED TO LEARN THE WORLD OF WORK THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGH HOW YOU INTERACT WITH YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE SUPPORTIVE OF THE LOCAL SCHOOL COMMUNITY THERE’S OPPORTUNITIES AS A CITIZEN TO MAKE SURE THAT THE STATE AND THE COUNTRY ARE MAKING SMART INVESTMENTS IN EDUCATION AND OF COURSE THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN ALL DO AS PARENTS. THOSE OF US WHO ARE PARENTS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR KIDS ARE WELL PREPARED FOR SCHOOL AGAIN THEIR HOMEWORK DONE ARE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON THEIR PEERS SO THERE’S LOTS OF WAYS THAT WE CAN CONTRIBUTE. BUT WE’VE WE’VE GOTTA SEE SCHOOLS AS CENTRAL TO THE FUTURE SUCCESS OF THE COUNTRY. YOU REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS AREN’T YOU. I AM I AM I STARTED OUT AS A HIGH SCHOOL SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER. I JUST LOVE SCHOOL. THAT SCHOOL MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE FOR ME. I’VE SEEN THE DIFFERENT SCHOOL CAN MAKE THE LIVES OF MY STUDENTS AND NOW THAT I WORK IN POLICY AND RESEARCH I SAW THE SAME MISSION WHICH IS MAKING SURE THAT SCHOOLS PROVIDE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL KIDS JUST LIKE THEY DID FOR ME BROUGHT IN I UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE SOME TIES TO THE EASTERN SHORE. I DO A SCHOOL CONNECTION OF COURSE MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ONE OF FIRST GRADUATES OF UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE WHEN IT WAS CALLED PRINCESS ANNE ACADEMY SHE GRADUATED IN 1890 FOR AND SO I ACTUALLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK AND SPEAK AT THE COMMENCEMENT AT EASTERN SHORE LAST SPRING WHICH IS QUITE A MOMENT TO BE ABLE TO CELEBRATE THE STUDENTS IN THEIR GRADUATION BUT ALSO TO HONOR THE LEGACY OF MY GRANDMOTHER THAT’S AMAZING. THAT’S A GREAT STORY NOW WE ARE VERY CAREFUL TO TO BUT TALK POLITICALLY DELMARVA LIFE LIKE I’VE GOT TO ASK YOU YOU’VE GOT TO WORK WITH WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA BEHIND THE SCENES REACHING SHORE SO ONE PRESIDENT OBAMA AND MRS. OBAMA BOTH DEEPLY COMMITTED TO EDUCATION. THEY BOTH IN THE WORK WITH THE OBAMA FOUNDATION ARE CONTINUING TO WORK ON EDUCATION ISSUES. ONE GREAT MOMENT WE WERE HAVING LUNCH WITH A GROUP OF STUDENTS WHO WERE BEING MENTORED BY FOLKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE. ONE OF THE STUDENTS ASKED THE PRESIDENT WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO SUCCESS. AND ALWAYS REMEMBER MAKE TWO POINTS ABOUT THINGS WERE KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR HIM ONE WAS ALWAYS WORKING REALLY HARD AND HE SAID HE LEARNED IN COLLEGE THAT HE WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE ONE WORK THE HARDEST. HE WAS NEVER GOING TO HAVE SOMEONE OUTPERFORM HIM BECAUSE THEY WORKED HARDER THAN HE DID. THEY MADE HIM MORE TOWN BUT HE WAS ALWAYS GONNA BE THE ONE WHO WORKED THE HARDEST. I LOVE THAT. AND THE SECOND THING HE SAID WAS THE POWER OF READING ANY TALKED ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH WHEN YOU READ WHETHER YOU’RE READING A NOVEL OR A BIOGRAPHY YOU GET TO SEE THE WORLD FROM SOMEONE ELSE’S PERSPECTIVE. AND HE TALKED ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT A SKILL THAT IS IN LIFE AND IN LEADERSHIP TO BE ABLE TO SEE THE WORLD FROM THE PERSPECTIVE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU HAD DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES THAN YOU’VE HAD AND HE TALKED ABOUT THE POWER OF LITERATURE AND AS A TEACHER I LOVE THAT TOO. SO THAT WAS A GREAT MOMENT TO BE JUST SITTING THERE WITH A GROUP OF STUDENTS THAT PRESIDENT IT WAS ME AND A COUPLE OF OTHER CABINET MEMBERS WAS JUST WONDERFUL LIFE EXPERIENCE. ABSOLUTELY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS AFTERNOON THANK YOU SO MUCH. IT’S BEEN WONDERFUL SPEAKING WITH YOU. NOW WE’RE GOING TO HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DR. KING’S BACKGROUND UNTIL MORE BLACK DOT COM. BE BE SURE TO CHECK IT OUT. HE’S AN

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