“Quality of Education Was Literally a Matter of Life and Death”

Why is Secretary Duncan so passionate about the need to make sure that every child gets a quality education?

He explains in “First Person Singular,” which appeared in yesterday’s Washington Post Magazine.

Read excerpts below or the full piece.

“As much as the success stories encourage me, I lost a lot of friends at an early age, and, honestly, it scars you…. The friends I had who died were friends who dropped out. And because the community was so violent and so tough, it literally ate ’em alive; it killed them.

“Those who got a good education had extraordinary opportunities, and those that didn’t had nothing there for them, absolutely nothing.…

“The stakes growing up were so extraordinarily high that the quality of education was literally a matter of life and death. That’s a huge part of my motivation and sense of urgency. You just can’t accept that status quo; you can’t be passive or complacent when you come to understand the consequences.”

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