Outgoing Education Secretary John B. King Talks Progress Made In The Past 8 Years, How Education Can Save Lives

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald January 10, 04:47 am
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Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. delivers remarks after being nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be the next head of the Education Department in the State Dining Room at the White House October 2, 2015 in Washington, DC. His successor is Betsy DeVos, a pick of Donald Trump.
(Photo : Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images)

With Donald Trump's administration set to take office in a few days, outgoing education secretary, John B. King Jr., said in a statement that education can save lives. He also said in another interview that there have been a lot of progress and changes in the United States for the past eight years so it must be protected.

In an interview with NPR, King became a teacher, a principal and a deputy secretary in the past before he became the education secretary in 2015. He said that what guided him in those times was also what guided him when he served as the education secretary and that guide was to protect all children but most especially those who have been traditionally marginalized.

King first talked about the new federal education law called Every Student Succeeds Act. He also shared his thoughts about the new Education Secretary pick of Trump, Betsy DeVos, who is a billionaire and never attended public schools.

King believed that the beliefs and actions of a person matter the most and his successor should know that the Education Department is a civil rights agency whose responsibility is to protect the civil rights of students. King went on to say that education is fundamental for the long-term success of the economy and the democracy of the country.

Moreover, King said the diverse student populations would be followed by more schools as he believes that the United States would be in a better place as a country and there will be better dialogue. Diverse educators in the classrooms were also something that King wishes to be included in schools.

As for his advice to DeVos, King said that she should always protect the children as they need to feel safe and supported in school. Additionally, King added DeVos should also listen to the students, teachers, parents and communities in order to understand the problems that the education system is currently facing.

More on King, he was raised in Brooklyn and lost both of his parents at the age of 12. In an interview with Elle, he said that he was able to survive with no parents due to the teachers who helped him in school. He said that his teachers made him not think about home, saying they are the reasons why he is still alive today.

As for what is next for King, he is focused on what needs to get done. He said that there are still a lot of things on his list but stressed that he will also take some time off with his family and decide what he will do next.

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