Meet the Secretary of Education
Kid Reporter goes “one-on-one” with cabinet member Arne Duncan.
Interviewing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may be my biggest assignment yet as a Scholastic Kid Reporter. Secretary Duncan is head of the U.S. Department of Education. He is part of President Obama’s cabinet and I was really excited to meet him.
I joined the video crew from Scholastic in the library of the Department of Education building in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon. The library is in the basement of the building.
The producer and cameraman set up an area to film the interview while I spent the time going over the questions I had prepared. In about 25 minutes, Secretary Duncan arrived. We started by filming the two of us greeting each other.
Then we sat down for to talk. Secretary Duncan was very friendly and answered all of the questions in ways that kids could easily understand. First, he answered some of the more serious questions, about the future of the No Child Left Behind Act and the country’s rising high school drop-out rate. I also asked him some fun questions—about former teachers and favorite books. You'll have to wait for the full story to be published to find out what he said!
Reading is very important to Secretary Duncan and his entire family. He told me that he encourages all kids—including his own two—to read for fun, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or even comic books.
Currently he is reading the Harry Potter books to his kids, which are their favorites. They are on book five! When he was a kid, he told me, he enjoyed reading the Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien.
Secretary Duncan also told me that he sometimes plays basketball with President Obama, including a game this last weekend. Even if you didn’t know anything about Secretary Duncan, you might guess that he’s a basketball player. He is really tall!
I asked him if
he ever beats the President. They usually play team basketball, he explained, rather
“Luckily we usually win when we’re on the same team,” he said. I guess what works on the basketball court can also work in politics!