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An Open Letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Karen Duncan to Their Children

Official U.S. Department of Education Photo

September 2011


Dear Claire and Ryan,

We always enjoy the joy and excitement you show when you go back to school. It’s comforting for us to know that you love learning and go to a great public school that challenges and supports you.

Now that you’ve been back in class for more than a week, we’re so happy that you’ve settled in and are enjoying school. Our hope for you this year is that you will be challenged academically. You have some terrific teachers to support you. We want your love of literature to grow, and we’ll do our part by reading to you every night. We hope you will develop critical thinking skills in math, and we promise to help you when you’re struggling and celebrate when you’re succeeding. We would like to see you engaged in learning science, civics, and history, and we will continue to explore the natural world at nature centers, museums, and many of the other great resources in the Washington area.

We also want you to enjoy so many other enriching experiences that are so important to a complete education. We know you have great music, art, and physical education teachers at your school, and we believe that these subjects are essential for a well-rounded curriculum. And so is recess. We want you to have fun!

Because we believe that learning happens outside of the classroom, we would encourage you to seek out opportunities for leadership and service. As a family, we’ve all enjoyed service events like building playgrounds and painting murals in local schools. We hope you’ll do service activities with your classmates and strive to be leaders in the student government and other activities at school.

We are proud of you and excited for you. We have dedicated our lives to learning and to helping others receive a great education. Our greatest hope is that you’ll go back to school every fall excited and ready to learn.


Mom & Dad

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