A message from John B. King Jr., outgoing U.S. Secretary of Education:

America has the right to a great public education

Education is a ladder. Rung by rung, it helps people reach places that would otherwise be an impossible climb.

It is not enough for those already prosperous to prosper. All Americans must have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in our nation’s growth, if it is to succeed. That has always been so but is even truer today, at a time when the fastest-growing occupations require education beyond high school.

And that is why now is the time for champions of public education to set aside the policy differences that have divided us over the past two decades and move forward, together, to defend and extend this fundamental American institution.

We don’t have to agree on every strategy or tactic. We won’t. But we can stop wasting energy on false dichotomies and disparaging rhetoric. We can stop questioning our natural allies’ intentions and fight side by side for the belief that every student in America has the right to a great public education.

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