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Duncan: Education Dept. to focus on creating ‘knowledge workers’

The Department of Education will launch a new initiative to create “knowledge workers,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Wednesday.

“We have to look at that on a cradle-to-career agenda, great early childhood education getting our babies off to a good start,” Duncan said. “As you know, we’re pushing very hard on K-12 reform; we have to make sure college is accessible, affordable, so we have to invest all the way along there.”

President Obama is again turning his attention to education reform, announcing in a speech last week that he will be granting states waivers to certain parts of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law to raise standards and foster innovation. Duncan called NCLB “fundamentally broken” and in need of these waivers.

Obama is scheduled to give his annual back-to-school message Thursday afternoon.