Condoleezza Rice on Education
Secretary of State
Parental choice in schools is civil rights issue of our day
We have been successful because Americans have known that one's status of birth is not a permanent condition. Americans believed that you might not control your circumstances but you can control your response.
And your greatest ally in controlling
your response to your circumstances has been a quality education. But today, when I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you're going to get a good education, can I honestly say it does not matter where you came from, it matters where you are
going? The crisis in K-12 education is a threat to the very fabric of who we are.
My mom was a teacher. I respect the profession. We need great teachers, not mediocre ones. We have to have high standards for our kids, because self-esteem comes from
achievement, not from lax standards and false praise.
We need to give parents greater choice, particularly poor parents whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights issue of our day.
Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech
, Aug 29, 2012
National standards rather than local school curriculum
On the AmericansElect.org education question, Dr. Rice chose 'C' from the list below, with a relative weighting of 15%:
When you think about education in the
US, which of the following is closest to your opinion?
Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Condi Rice's staff
, Feb 13, 2012
- A. School curriculums should be set entirely at a local school board level
- B. School curriculums should be set more by local school boards than at a national level
C. School curriculums should be set more by national standards than at a local level
D. School curriculums should be set entirely at a national standardized level
Encourage critical languages: Faris, Chinese, Arabic
I made a major push to encourage the study of critical languages. (Secy. of Defense] Don Rumsfeld, [CIA Director] George Tenet, [Education Dept.'s] Margaret Spellings, and I launched a "Critical Languages Initiative" to support the study of
Farsi, Chinese, Arabic, and other "hard" languages. I reminded everyone that the National Defense Languages Act had done the same during the Cold War to increase the number of speakers of Russian.
Source: No Higher Honor, by Condoleezza Rice, p.425
, Nov 1, 2011
Spotlight the importance of foreign exchange student program
I felt that [the foreign exchange student program] shouldn't be a one-way street. Americans are notoriously monolingual and, frankly, a bit provincial. I've long been an advocate of study-abroad programs. Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings and I teamed up to spotlight the importance of student exchanges, holding the U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education in 2006.
One great strength of the American higher education system is its diversity, so we invited leaders from community colleges, liberal arts schools, and private and public research universities. Margaret would visit countries in
South America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia with several university presidents to further emphasize the importance of the issue.
Source: No Higher Honor, by Condoleezza Rice, p.658
, Nov 1, 2011
Started after-school program in East Palo Alto
Rep. Charles Rangel welcomed Condoleezza Rice as she visited Harlem's PS 154. Education's role in lifting people out of poverty has been a special focus of Congressman Rangel, who has been working to bring the private and public sectors together to ensur
that children are provided the educational resources they need.
It's a message that resonates with the Secretary of State, both because of her current job as well as her past career in education. Years before she became a leader on the world stage,
Rice was instrumental in starting an after-school program in East Palo Alto. "There's a kind of bargain in America, that if you work hard and if you take the opportunities before you, then you can succeed," Rice told reporters. "A learning center like
this makes it possible for these children to have limitless horizons. When I leave this job I'll still be concerned about is that every child in America really has a chance to get a quality education."
Source: Rep Charles Rangel press release, "Rice Visits PS 154"
, Oct 2, 2007
Experienced educator, as teacher and administrator
On education, Rice is an experienced educator, where Hillary merely writes about the subject. Condi’s extensive experience at Stanford, as a teacher, a mentor, and an administrator, qualifies her to speak on the education issue in a way no other
candidate in either party can. If Laura Bush’s pedagogic background made her husband more attractive to women voters, imagine their reaction to a former full-time educator running for president.
Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 62
, Oct 11, 2005
Keep funding for arts in school budgets
Some people believe the arts should be the first things that are cut out of school budgets and I believe very strongly that the arts are wonderful things for children. If there’s one area that I want to encourage people in school districts to work on,
it’s to keep funding the arts. When I was growing up, particularly in the African American community, we had great bands. I asked myself, when are these kids going to learn to play instruments that might get them diplomas, that might give them careers.
Source: Juan Williams interview on NPR, on www.4condi.com, “Issues”
, May 26, 2005
Economic class means nothing in US colleges
Upward mobility [via education] is important [to the American character]. I was really struck by the story of a woman who could not get into Oxford but got into Harvard. Did you know that the Stanford population is poorer than the Berkeley population?
And yet Berkeley is a pubic school and Stanford is private! That is because of very strong values about upward mobility. Stanford runs a “needs blind” admissions. So the population here is actually poorer than it is in public institutions.
Class means nothing in the American higher educational system, and all of those values have gone together to make the US.
The way that our research universities work is also important. Stanford is the source of both ideas and of people
for Silicon Valley. It is true of Route 128 in Massachusetts, it is true of Austin and the University of Texas. The US is going to for a long time dominate this new economy, because it has these perfectly positioned characteristics.
Source: TIES-Webzine interview at Hoover Institution, Stanford Univ.
, Jun 25, 2000
Page last updated: Apr 29, 2013