On Tuesday, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo declared to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on the program New Day that CNN would assist Duncan in a “shame campaign” to persuade Congress to act on education during a discussion about community college:
Cuomo: Community college. The pushback on that issue is that one, we don’t know that college is even the right way to get into the job force anymore, and if you make it too easy for people to get into college, you wind up getting the wrong people go in who don’t want to work for it enough, and it’s all these other kids are struggling and they don’t qualify, the wrong kids qualify, those are the typical points of pushback. Your response?
Duncan: I fundamentally disagree that we again have to educate our way to a better economy. The days in which you could just graduate from high school and go get a high wage job that helps you progress into the middle class, it’s pretty hard to do that today. And to have young people have access to a community college whether 28-year-olds, whether they’re 38-year-olds, whether they’re 58-year-olds, coming back to retrain, retool- management jobs, high-tech jobs, jobs that relate to the health care area, advanced manufacturing. When I visit community colleges, and I’ve been to dozens around the country, those are some of the most inspiring visits I ever make. These are people across the spectrum coming back to school to gain the skills to enter the middle class. We need to support those efforts and support the partnerships between community colleges and local industry. Many community colleges today are becoming regional economic engines. They’re driving economic activity. Creating jobs in their communities. We have to support that. We want to keep great jobs in our communities and ultimately in our nation.
Cuomo: Secretary, my only advice for you is that you should go on a shame campaign with Congress to get them to act. New Day will help, CNN will help. We wish you good luck, Secretary Duncan. You’re going to have a lot of challenges in front of you, but the biggest one is to get Washington to do anything.
Duncan: I’ll take you up on that offer, thank you very much.