Arne Joins Senator Harkin in Iowa to Highlight Early Learning

Secretary Duncan joins Senator Harkin for a roundtable discussion with Iowa educators and community leaders (Official Department of Education Photo by Paul Wood)

“I don’t even use the word ‘preschool’ any longer, because I think education starts at birth,” explained Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) yesterday at an early childhood education event in Des Moines, Iowa. Harkin, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, joined Secretary Duncan at Carver Community School to highlight the importance of early learning as an investment in the future well-being of America’s students.

Senator Tom Harkin at Carver Community School (Official Department of Education Photo by Paul Wood)

Duncan and Harkin joined education and community leaders from across Iowa in a roundtable discussion on the importance of quality early learning programs, focusing on how these programs have benefited both rural and urban communities.

Secretary Duncan highlighted the administration’s recent announcement that it will invest $500 million in a state-level Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. The Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems that include better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful workforce development and family engagement initiatives.

While in Iowa, Secretary Duncan also delivered the keynote address at the Iowa Education Summit where he offered his assessment of Iowa’s progress in strengthening its education system.

For more information on ED’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, click here.



  1. With the Iowa program can support better education. The education is very important for today’s young generation. I think the education of today and the past is very different. With current technological advances of knowledge which should be given to the younger generation should be looking more broadly. With the Iowa is very helpful in terms of education.

  2. Just about every program about early learning is a remedial effort. What is needed is a foundational effort to prepare FUTURE parents for the respect, love, humility, honesty and trust offered by a ‘good’ parent. Training for this is totally lacking and could be offered in middle school to keep students in school and safe and in the senior year to better prepare them for parenthood which now is totally ignored in favor of career. The most important ‘career’ is parenthood.

Comments are closed.