December 8th, 2009
07:40 PM ET

Ask the Secretary of Education

What would you ask the Secretary of Education if you could?

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry will be interviewing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, so teachers and students, here's your chance:  Write your questions here and we'll pass them on.  You may hear one of yours answered in an upcoming CNN Student News.  Fire away!

Donna Krache, Executive Producer

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. tian (that is pernownsted like a t and then a n please get my name right harldy any one dose)

    I would ask about standerds and how you come up with what the standerds are and why you pick that to be the standerds

    December 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  2. Brady

    If I could ask the Secretary of Education anything, I would ask him why all students are treated the same in schools. I know that it is a right to receive a public education, but because students learn at different levels, I don't think its fair to put everyone under the same guidlines. Students that have trouble learning should be tought by specialized teachers to help them in specific areas, while students that excel in acedemics should have classes geared towards their skill.

    December 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  3. Alex

    What is your favorite color?

    December 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    Do you have any idea how hard it would be to go to school in a longer day? It's hard enough to muster up enough motivation to go to school now.

    December 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  5. Fern

    Are you considering a year-round education? If so, would the school day be shorter?

    December 8, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  6. Hatagem

    I do believe that student are brought together indifferently is a good thing. Can you image a picture that every A-grade students are joins in a class? The atmosphere just smothering me! Anyway Diversity in a classroom is necessary to our student.

    December 8, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  7. Ivan

    Can you update our schools?

    December 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  8. Ashton

    I think that we should have a longer school day because it will help the teachers with there jobs and students with there education.

    December 8, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  9. Isono-kaien

    I would ask about why middle schoolers have to get up earlier than elementary and why science fair is required.it makes no sense either of those.Some people don't have the resources to do a science fair project and some people can't get up that early because the go to sports or another activity until late at night and they get thier homework done at 11:00 and have to wake up at 6:00.:(

    December 9, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  10. Tomas

    I'm a chinese college student ,and I'm crazy about this program, If I could ask the Secreatary of Education, I would ask him as more and more chinese pretend to study in American college, the number of foreigh students in America is rising up quickly, do is it good for American education?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:06 am |
  11. Dan

    It's my honour to ask the Secretary of Education something,I'm a chinese student,you know,USA has 204 Nobel Prize winners,I feel ashamed because China has none,I assert there must be something special in America educational system,so what's that?

    December 9, 2009 at 5:03 am |
  12. Denise

    I would ask Mr Duncan is there a better way to punish children that act out in class rather than suspending them. This causes them to lose to much valuable class time and also lessens the value they place on education. Punishment is meant to take away something the child sees as a reward for good behavior, if we place education on that level it will not seem as much as a priority to them and will add to reason for them to neglect it sooner or later.....a concerned grandparent.

    December 9, 2009 at 5:24 am |
  13. vivian

    through cnn student news i saw many issues in America's tuition protests there. meanwhile, what about the condition of the international students? should they have to spend more for the universities at the same rate as that of the natives?

    December 9, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  14. Beth

    What happened to the idea of a voucher system where there are options for education and money goes to where the student goes? In my opinion, that would be a system that would most closely reflect the democratic system and free enterprise.

    December 9, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  15. Mr. Z

    Mr. Duncan,

    Accountability is a hot issue in education today. Students are held accountable for work daily, teachers are held accountable for student achievement more and more. When and how are you going to put parents in the "accountability equation" in the education process?

    December 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  16. Diondre

    Do you think it is a good idea to just prepare students for college when many students do not attend college.!.

    December 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  17. howard

    i think we should have are tuitions payed for by the government

    December 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  18. SD

    are u going to make school longer?

    December 9, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  19. Amy

    What do you plan to do about the budget cuts? I really needed to go to summer school to graduate as a senior on time. I've heard the budget cuts would effect me doing that.

    December 9, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  20. Thomas

    I think the main thing that i want to know and that ive always wanted to know is why are teachers paid so little? They have to pput up with so much stuff from children and they have some of the lowest saleries in the US. Why?

    December 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  21. Sisters Academy

    Why do we need to go to school 5 days a week? Could we go to school 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off?

    Also, If we are trying not to leave anyone behind in school why do so many teachers send students out of the classroom and failing them? They can't learn when they aren't in the classroom?

    Why don't all schools have culinary classes?

    December 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  22. Kaity

    I live in Michigan and school for me starts at 7:30 in the morning. My bus comes at 6:09. I have to wake up at 5:00, or maybe even 4:45, if I want to take a shower and be up and ready for the school day. I know it might not be like that in all of America but I am just wondering..... why does school start that early andywhere? In ways it can be more unhealthy than helpful.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Will the Department of Education work with the Labor Department to produce quality jobs? If it the Departments duty to educate Americans of the importance of quality employment?

    December 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  24. Chessmen

    Why are we wearing uniforms if the economy is in bad shape?

    December 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  25. Raiyne

    Do you feel that our generation of (children) is getting the proper education that we need?

    December 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  26. Allen

    Since the economy is so bad, why must we still have written Homework?

    December 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  27. josh

    whatever happened to the disipline? anyhow we should have a better system of punishment.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  28. Katrene

    Why are the book fairs so expencive? I cant ever buy anything!

    December 9, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  29. Marco

    You should update our schools.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  30. jazil

    what's your plan for this year.

    December 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  31. Amanda =:^)

    As been mentioned before on CNN, I would ask if she would make it a law that school weeks will shorten by a day, whether it be from tuesday to friday, or monday to thursday. Or i would ask if they would update our schools

    December 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  32. Sandi

    My question would be about the "Race to the Top" Grant. Part of the grant asks school districts to create a new way to evaluate teacher performance based on student achievement. What do you envision the outcome to be and how would that work? Many of the hardest working and most dedicated teachers focus their energies on the lowest motivated and under performing students with instructional deficiencies. Is it fair to penalize teachers for working with the neediest kids while the teachers who work with the gifted/talented, who showed great progress, excel? Please clarify.

    December 9, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  33. cascade

    What is your opinion on school districts running on a four day work week?

    December 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  34. Allen

    Why do some schools have new books and others don't

    December 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  35. Gina

    If our goal with NCLB is to give all children an equal quality education. Why then are children not being given holistic educations but rather are being forced OVER AND OVER to focus on Math and English and if necessary ignore Social Studies, Science, Music, Art, PE, etc. I teach middle school and I find that students have no mastered basic skills even in middle school even though they've been "taught" it repeatedly because it is on their yearly state assessment. Why not test small chunks of information each year and progressively add to the tests each year instead of trying to teach everything each year?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  36. Corey

    What steps are you taking to address the rising cost of college tuition?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  37. richard

    why do we go to school?why we have to do work?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  38. kevin

    why is funding being cut if education is supposed to be so important.

    December 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  39. Todd

    How will you improve the quality of Special Education, since a student myself in Special Ed, I see we lack funding. Our school is well funded, but the Special Ed department lacks funding. We are given second hand items. I believe we deserve an equal opportunity with equal standards as if were like the rest of the student. How can you help us?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  40. Maurice

    Dear, Ed Henry

    If i could ask any question, it would most likely be why are teachers paid so little. They have the toughest times, they are degraded and harassed daily. Teaching is the hardest thing going and now their getting paid less and their jobs are getting cut.

    p.s. I hope you answer my question
    Sincerely, Maurice

    December 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  41. mathew

    why are teachers losing there jobs because the money is not reaching there paycheck?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  42. jason

    Heres a question i would like to ask the secretary of education,why does school hours start so early?

    December 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  43. Kyle

    Why are you cutting funds from schools? Schools are already hurting as is, why worsen them?

    December 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  44. morgan

    Dear Ed Henery why are the teachers paid so little

    December 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  45. alex

    My question is, if teachers and school funding is so little, why doesn't the government pay for the teachers and school funding?

    December 9, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  46. Lucy

    Mr. Duncan,
    If the US is hoping to extend its school day to the extent of some cother ountries, that would mean getting out so late there would barely be time for homework, let alone sports. If a longer school day was proposed, would there be a period for sports practices? I think it's very important to preserve that in school especially with recent statistics about obesity in America. After a certainy number of hours, kids just can't focus any more; not only are sports tradition but they would provide a good outlet so that when kids are back in class, they can actually focus.

    I would also like to know how the government would pay to keep schools open for the extra hours. Heating and cooling an entire school is expensive. How would that price be addressed?

    December 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm |
  47. Lucy

    If a longer school day is put in place, how will the government pay the teachers for their extra time? As it is, teachers are being layed off and are, none the less, payed very little.

    How will the govenment obtain the funds to heat and cool schools for the extra time required for a longer day?

    December 9, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  48. Helen

    is the education program getting better?
    what is going to happen to make it better?

    December 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  49. Hunter

    Is Education going to be cut anymore? If so, how hard?

    December 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  50. Trenton

    If teachers have to stay at school all day and have to deal with there hectice work day then why cant they be paid more.besides they are the ones who educate us and if they got paid more more people would go out for that job and it think we would even as a countery be smarter.

    December 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  51. Ashley

    1. Obesity and juvenile diabetes are, and have been, a growing concern in the United States. Is there any way nutrition can be improved so that students in the public education system, grades K-12, can have healthier food and more of a variety in what they eat?

    2. Violence occurs in some way, shape, or form at every school. How do you plan to address school violence?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:05 pm |
  52. Johnny

    Our school is out-of-date...yet, CEOs from citigroup and AIG receive bailouts. Now maybe there's a good reason for all that, but the only thing I hear about are big shots with million dollar payrolls. Can you bailout my school?...or better yet, my county? The budget seems to get smaller and smaller every year.

    December 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  53. Vincent

    I don't care about school and I know I'm not the only student who feels this way. What can you do that will make me want to go to school?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  54. Roberto

    What is your opinion about students that don't have citizenship but want to go to college?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm |
  55. Carlos

    Why don't school systems keep their word? How is anything going to improve when there is always a new rule, law, or reform correcting or redirecting school success?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  56. James

    Why do programs, courses, and curriculum change so much?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  57. Ebony

    Why is WRITING so important?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  58. Humberto

    I am indifferent about the position you hold. How does your job directly effect/affect my life?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  59. Randi

    If you could choose one thing about education that was important to you, what would you choose?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  60. Ariel

    Are the constant changes in public education a result of the ever increasing speed and accessibility of technology?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  61. Joe

    What's the point of molding the United States educational system like that of other countries when the current trend seems to be more of a focus on the unique ideals and people that makes the United States different from every other country?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  62. Jamal

    What would you suggest to schools that have little to no obvious communication regarding post-high school opportunities for students?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  63. Ashley

    I've been told time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So my question for you...do you eat breakfast?...and if so, what do you eat?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  64. Nia

    1. Why is there a no child left behind program when many kids are left behind each year?

    2. What were you grades like in school?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  65. Craig

    So, it seems like teachers think that just because they have Mr, Ms, or whatever in front of their name that they automatically deserve respect. Here's what I don't get...why do teachers think they deserve respect automatically? Oh yeah and, what do you think of this saying, "Those who can, do...those who can't, teach?"

    December 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  66. Ani

    I would ask the Secretary of Education the following:

    Mr. Henry, why is it that no matter how "technologically advanced" our classrooms are, the technology in them is always years behind the most recent developments? In order to learn in today's modernized world, we must have knowledge of the tools in use today, as opposed to the tools in use half a decade ago. I am not just talking about my district in particular, but a nationwide technological average is far under what I consider acceptable. Why is this?

    December 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  67. kairo

    If i ever had a chance to ask the secretary of education a question i would ask " why is it that us students dont get the classes that we really should be in and the ones that we really need help with instead of just having the same courses all over again when we should be in a higher lever that we can understand the kinds of problems they ask us to do. One more thing, why cant all of us "students" get along with everyone with no problems their has always have to be a thing that just bother us i say that you should band the students that dont take their education seriously and keep all the ones that are actually willing to try and succeed in graduating on the future for a good career

    December 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  68. justin

    Dear Ed Henerry why are the Teachers paid so little

    December 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  69. Stephanie

    How do propose raising teacher salaries to be in line with other professionals? By increasing salaries, I believe there would be many benefits. Teacher retention would be increased. More people would be drawn to the field of education especially men into elementary education.

    December 10, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  70. Samantha

    i think its a good idea what they are doing, because the kids can learn the way they want so they can focus more.

    December 10, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  71. David

    I think that classes being seperated by gender isnt a good idea. We all are human, and if they want to seperate us like that, at least give them the choice.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  72. Dylan

    I think that it would be fun and a good experiance to split classes up into gender. I also think though that it would be hard to communicate to the opposite gender if they are not in your class, so I think that it is sort of good and sort of bad

    December 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  73. Colleen

    I absolutely love this idea of separating classes by gender. When I go to class everyday, the boys in my class are usually obnoxious. I feel that separating class by gender will not only make learning fun, but it will take the tension out of class. Boys act a certain way around girls and girls act a certain way around girls. Because of this, many students do not concentrate on work because " the cute guy/girl "is sitting next to them. They focus mainly on this.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  74. Rayven

    why are athlete's able to get a full ride scholarship to college just because they are good with a ball? shouldn't there be some limit on like acedemics that should be applied to athletes even if they score alot they are at college to get an education.

    December 10, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  75. Adam

    I would probably lecture him on my opinion of the school system, but for one question, I would ask him why schools seem to focus most of their energy on grades and not on learning.

    December 10, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  76. BRYAN

    I think that that seperating the boys from the girls isn't good. it limits the students. Students are supose to go to school to learn and also be social. Intergrating this program in schools wouldn't be a good idea.

    December 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  77. olga

    I think they shouldn't separate students by gender because students aren't gonna learn any social skill. I say the school should think of some other solution.

    December 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  78. Max

    Ed Henry,
    People say that they are going to do things for our schools. Why doesn't it ever happen. I feel that the school systems are being told things are going to happen just to keep them at bay. Thus keeping us away from strike.

    December 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  79. sarah

    i think that you should never split genders because to tell you the truth i probally wouldnt go to school if there were no guys, if i wanted to be in an all girl class i would go to an all girl school

    December 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  80. Jacob

    why can't the US fund computers for every class for every school

    December 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  81. Drew

    Why is lunch so short? most the time u can barley finish eating and u are on your way to your next class.

    December 10, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  82. Lindsay

    If I could ask Duncan a question it would be- Can you tell how long the economy will be in such bad shape,if so will it get better in time for me to start college. (I should graduate from college in 2015-2016)

    December 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  83. Colin

    Why is school funding being cut if education is important?

    December 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  84. christy

    would you even consider having school all year? why or why not?

    December 10, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  85. Justin

    Some kids like being taught by gender. But it may be harder because that is the same thing as being split up by race. If you think about it, some boys or girls may be failing a class depending on how well they have been taught it or how fast they know math, language, science, or even history. It would take longer and also give school many more hours. I just think this is over-powering other students in Virgina.

    December 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  86. Natalie

    Why do we have to go to school for 7 hours? Can't we just have half days twice a week in the summer to make them shorter??

    December 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  87. Beth

    Are you going to make school yearround? and if so, will school days be shorter?

    December 10, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  88. Taven/Maddy/Others

    Mr Duncan, What can be done to help local schools with funding so that students can have more access to newer technolgy and equipment and so more classes such as foreign language can be offered in middle school?

    December 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  89. Julianna/Hannah/Others

    Mr Duncan, We are all worried that the way college costs are rising we will not be able to afford it by the time we get out of high school. (in 6 years by the way as we are all in 6th now) What can the government do to help address this problem?

    December 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  90. Bailey

    If boys and girls were seperated there would be no difference. not all boys think the same nor girls. They should seperate not by gender but by grade average.

    December 10, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  91. Falcon

    Mr. Duncan, We are sixth graders and are worried that with the way college costs are rising we will not be able to afford it when it comes time for us to go. What can the government do to help students be able to afford college.

    December 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  92. Falcon

    How can the government help local school funding so that our middle school can afford newer equipment and technology and can offer foreign language classes?

    December 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  93. Prasanth

    what do you think about extra hours of school

    December 10, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  94. Carter

    Why earlyer this year you tried to make the school days longer?

    December 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  95. Katarina

    I think it is a good idea because it is a beter learing enviroment for students.but then agane people need to get out of there cunferit zone.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  96. Utau

    I would ask: Why do you think we should add extra HOURS? Why not Extra DAYS? I am NOT in favor of them , but it makes more logical sense to me, I mean Japan goes to school less hours then us and they'r're on top-they just go all year. I might help, you never know!

    December 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  97. Annika

    I think that gender doesnt matter when it comes to education;Boys and girls will still be learing the same thing...They shouldnt be seperated by gender but by grade average.

    December 11, 2009 at 12:05 am |
  98. Ray

    If teacher's are really "molding the leaders of tomorrow", then isn't it fair that they recieve a higher salary; one of which is sufficient for that type of influence?

    December 11, 2009 at 1:17 am |
  99. Nicole

    Seeing as your are the eighteenth in order of presidential succession, how prepared do you believe you would be Mr. Duncan in moving our nation forward not only on issues concerning education, but all issues as a whole?

    December 11, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  100. Charlotte

    I feel strongly that schools need to do more to separate the students who intend to try or have an aptitude to do better in school and in the long run. If changes are made to schools how would these changes better the learning environment, the class selection and the curriculum requirements for schools?

    Also how would any changes effect smaller schools in rural areas that already lack funding?

    December 11, 2009 at 3:03 am |
  101. Nathan

    Would you consider giving tax credits to parents that homeschool their children? Homeschooler's parents are still sending tax money to the local schools for an education that they are not receiving from that school. This money would be better spent and more beneficial to the child that is learning at home. And often times, as in South Carolina, receiving a better education and a safer education from home.

    December 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  102. Darren

    First of all, you have no authority to adjust school schedules. Public schools are under the state authority, if a state wants to have longer school days, then that state will. The national DOE has no authority.

    December 11, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  103. Joey

    I would ask the Sec. of Education to have 4 school days a week. But, extend school 1 hour to 90 min approximately. Students will now have a 3 day weekend

    December 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  104. CYNTHIA


    December 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  105. Kyle

    Fourteen hour school days are too long. What are students across the nation supposed to do about extra-curricular activities? Students do have goals and dreams that don't completly evolve around education.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  106. jenna

    I personally think longer school days are not the answer to better education. Instead of longer school days why not more attention to the students and their learning.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm |

    I would ask why we have to go to school so early in the morning why not go to school @ 10 and go home @ like 5 it would b easier 4 me to foucus b/c in the morning i am not little Mrs.Sunshine!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  108. Kenneth

    I think it would be a bad to expand school day and years. Because its hard enough for use now.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  109. john

    one thing i wont to talk about is that some theachers have anger problems and yell at the students none stop and some get so mad that they snath things you work oun and throw it away just for missing a anser.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  110. Megan

    If you added extra hours, we will get less sleep. Sleep is already cut short. Would that be smart for our education and other activities out of school?

    December 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  111. PAULINA


    December 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  112. carson

    The school that i go to has a 180 day school year my friends and I do not want a 220 day school year and we dont want to go from an 8 hour day to a 12-13-14 hour school day. Thats crazy talk if thats what youre thinkin sir. We already have a short enough summer doing this will just make kids mad and make kids ditch more. If you make our school year longer then you should also create more months out of the year. What are we going to do after school? Are we going to school, when we get back from school, eat dinner(if you do), then go to sleep? Where does our family come into this, and our friends. I have a life outside of school and I like having a life outside of school but, if we have longer days how many of my friends from my old school will I keep? Where will my social life fit in. I know that this was a lot about me but other kids are like me! And other kids have social lifes outside of school.

    December 11, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  113. carson

    Also, I wake up at around 6:00 to go to school at 7:45 when will my school day end right now it ends at 3:10 by adding an extra 4-5-6 hours my school day should end by 7:10-8:10-9:10, thats too late to stay at school espacially when my friends and I walk home.!

    December 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  114. Luisa

    KEEP THE BATHROOMS CLEAN! And continue to prevent bullying.

    December 12, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  115. Chandler

    my question is why are so many people talking about not having enough time in school. The thing i don"t understand is why have so many extra curricular activities during the school day. For example at my school on Friday we have all our programs like P.E, art, music, taking up half our day. Another thing to do is take away recess in middle school. Ihate to say it but it would give another class each day or make the classes longer. They don't need to make the day longer or the school year longer the just need to work within.

    December 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  116. Chandler

    I know its been a long asked question but why no seatbelts in school buses?
    It's against the law to ride in a car without a seatbelt(in my state). But not in a school bus, it doesn't make any sense to me. Not a good way to teach the youth of America

    December 13, 2009 at 1:38 pm |