Arne Duncan To Graduates: Become A Lifelong Learner

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 6:03am

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed around 9,000 Arizona State University graduates Wednesday night at the school’s undergraduate ceremony.

Duncan acknowledges that students in Arizona face a number of challenges. For example, he says that even in Massachusetts — which is by many measures, the highest performing state educationally — a significant number of high school grads who go on to public universities must take remedial classes. Meaning they’re not prepared for college.

And if the numbers are this bleak in Massachusetts, he said they’re likely worse in Arizona.

Duncan also said the career path for this era of college grads may be different.

"The key thing for young people is the reality that they’re going to have like one job for the rest of their life. That’s just not true anymore," Duncan said. "So how do you become a lifelong learner? How do you adapt? How do you work in a diverse team? How are you gaining all those skills? That’s just so critically important."

But Duncan also said he’s a “huge fan” of the entrepreneurial education that’s coming out of Arizona State.