I happen to be flying to Chicago today for a meeting on young people and civic engagement. The Chicago Public Schools were led by Arne Duncan until President Obama made him Secretary of Education. Many people who want to elevate democratic (or civic) education from its lowly status in the Department have hopes for Secretary Duncan. He was, for example, supportive of the Mikva Challenge, a great program that enlists Chicago teenagers in constructive political action and teaches them academic and political skills. In the clip below, he eloquently defends the idea of the school as a community center–also a concept with roots in Chicago, the city of John Dewey and Jane Addams.
I got this clip from the excellent Coalition for Community Schools, which has landed the Secretary for its conference.