Education Secretary Arne Duncan Talks Reform

Duncan said education reform must start with comprehensive change

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Tuesday said education reform must start with comprehensive change.

Duncan talked to NBC Miami from New York, where he was attending an NBC News hosted summit called Education Nation.

"Do unions have to change? Absolutely, but so does management, so do school boards. We all have to look in the mirror we and have to move outside our comfort zone, and say we're not just fighting for our children, we're fighting for our country,” Duncan said via satellite.

America's public schools are struggling, among 34 developed nations, American students rank 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math.  Meanwhile, a quarter of America's eighth graders cannot read at grade level.

Teacher pay is also part of the education equation. On average, teachers make $45,000 dollars a year. Duncan said they deserve more money

“I said repeatedly we really need to elevate the profession. Starting teachers should make double the money, $60,000 to $65,000," he said.

Duncan added that he thought a great teacher should be able to make up to $150,000.

But when 10 of the nation's governors gathered on stage with NBC’s Brian Williams, they turned their attention to doing more with less.

"How do we take a good teacher and make them a better teacher and take a better teacher and make them into a great teacher. That doesn't take more funding that takes a different way of thinking about things,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado while at the New York summit

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