Arne Duncan: American Education Includes a "Laptop on Every Desk"

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, March 15, 2012

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to get the federal government more involved in schools. The federal government "will do all we can" to bolster technological expansion in the classroom, Duncan recently stated, because technology "can even the playing field" for minority and low-income students who don’t have the benefit of owning laptops and iPhones.

"The future of American education undoubtedly includes a laptop on every desk and universal Internet access in every home. It definitely includes more on-line learning," Duncan proclaimed at a conference in Austin, Texas, last week. While education remains a state and local responsibility, he added, "Ensuring education equity is at the heart of the federal role in education. It opens doors for all students as long as we make sure that the students most in need have access."

During the conference, Duncan claimed that "American education is decentralized," and that such decentralization can stunt the availability of certain beneficial technologies: "School leaders are under a lot of pressure today to cope with diminishing resources and rising expectations. They don’t always see how investments in technology can save money down the road." 

The Education Secretary offered examples of how certain states have innovated their education systems with policies that encourage tech-friendly learning environments.

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