Press Release

Secretary Duncan, Students and Education Experts Come Together to Discuss “Why Teach?” in Support of National TEACH Campaign to Recruit Next Generation of Teachers

Duncan: “We need the generation of today to answer the urgent call to teach”
Secretary Duncan, Students and Education Experts Come Together  to Discuss “Why Teach?” in Support of National TEACH Campaign to Recruit Next Ge...

Washington,D.C., April 7, 2014 – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today joined leading educators and students in a TEACH-sponsored dialogue to elevate the perception of teaching and inspire top performing students to consider careers in teaching. Following the event,Secretary Duncan joined campus organizers in recruiting students to sign a pledge to learn more about careers in teaching.

This on-campus event is part of TEACH’s multi-market recruitment program taking place on 21 colleges in the U.S., using peer-to-peer recruitment, PSAs, and social media to reach high-achieving young people who might not have otherwise considered a career in teaching. TEACH is a collaboration among the U.S. Department of Education, Microsoft, State Farm®, national education organizations and teacher associations to recruit future teachers.

“Current and aspiring teachers can help transform the lives of their students by boosting student learning, providing young people with support and inspiration, helping them toaccess higher education and new economic opportunities, and teaching them valuable skills for citizenship and leadership,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Weknow one of the most important factors influencing student learning in ournation's schools is the quality of teaching. To prepare the generation oftomorrow for college and careers, we need the generation of today to answer theurgent call to teach.”

With fifty percent ofpre/K-12 teachers eligible for retirement in the next 10 years, it is criticalthat young become teachers in order to educate the next generation of leaders. There is an urgent need to create a sustainable pipeline oftop talent into the teaching profession to ensure that all studentslearn from talented, engaged and innovative teachers in order to close thewidening opportunity gap. Doing so is imperative to prepare our workforce to becompetitive in the 21st century.

Inaddition to recruiting talented individuals to be STEM teachers as thetechnology and science job sectors continue to grow, TEACH is also committed torecruiting students who will represent the nation’s increasingly diversestudent body. Currently, African-Americans and Hispanics make up 40 percent ofour nation’s student body, but less than 20 percent of teachers. Black malesrepresent less than 2 percent of teachers.

MSNBC contributor Jeff Johnson moderated the panel, whichdiscussed how innovation in the classroom aligns with young peoples’ skillsetsand goals, and how the teaching profession provides opportunities forcollaboration and career advancement. George Washington University GraduateSchool of Education and Human Development Dean Michael Feuer; Hispanic Heritage YouthAwards Teacher of the Year for theWashington, D.C. region, Jen Bado-Aleman; 2013-14 DC Teacher of the Year, MathTeacher Bill Day; and Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellow,Joiselle Cunningham discussed how innovation in the classroom ismotivating students academically, and benefitting their incomes and the economyin the future. Kate Gaskill, George Washington University Community-Engaged TeachingProgram Graduate student emphasized the meritsof TEACH’s on-campus recruitment program at local colleges and universities asa way to reach top-performing students who might not think of teaching as anobvious career choice.

“At Microsoft we understand the need for greatteachers; those who inspire and prepare our students to lead our global economyinto the future are invaluable leaders,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president,Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp. “Teachers play a pivotal role in preparingstudents with the skills they need to succeed in high-skilled jobs, which iswhy we are excited to partner with the TEACH campaign to inspire the nextgeneration of teachers and help transform K-12 education.”

“State Farm’s involvement in the TEACH campaign underscoresour belief that high-quality teachers are essential for students to be successfullyprepared for their future,” said Ed Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO, State Farm. “Byfocusing on recruiting diverse and talented young people to the field, we’retaking the first step in reaching the goal of ensuring that every student has aquality teacher in their classroom.”

Nearly 60 TEACH student organizers are set up attheir respective college campuses across the country. Student organizers aretabling on campuses and hosting events to invite students to sign pledge cardspromising to learn more about a career in education. Prospective teachers aredirected to wherethey can learn about the different pathways to become a teacher, depending ontheir education, location and interests. Since November 2013, more than 100,000users have completed the site’s interactive pathway.  Students can alsofind information about certification for various teaching jobs and a nationaljob directory to explore the landscape of potential employmentopportunities. 

“Everytime I have the opportunity to step into my classroom I recognize that I havethe ability to help shape a child’s life, as they prepare for today’sinternationally competitive world,” said Department of Education TeachingAmbassador Fellow and panelist Joiselle Cunningham. “Teaching isn’t simply ajob, it is a career path with highly qualified, dedicated and passionate peoplewho develop the next great leaders. It has been inspiring to see countlessstudents across the country pledge to learn more about a career in teaching.”

TEACH’scampus program is amplified by Make More,a mass media public service advertising (PSA) campaign developed in partnershipwith the Ad Council. Launched in November 2013, the campaign aims torecruit the nation’s high performing and diverse students into the teachingprofession. For more informationvisit

View a recording of today’s panel by clicking here:




Half of America’s teachers will be eligibleto retire over the next decade. We have an urgent need and unprecedentedopportunity to drive the transformation of K-12 education by encouraging andempowering our nation’s most talented students to teach. TEACH is leading themovement to recruit the next generation of teachers by redefining theprofession as a top career choice. This public-private partnership includes theU.S. Department of Education, Microsoft, State Farm®, education organizations and teacherassociations, and the Ad Council. To learn more, visit, likeus at orfollow us on Twitter @TEACHorg.

Media Contacts:

(917)570-4450 or [email protected]

(202)401-1576 or [email protected]

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