Education Secretary Arne Duncan just turned every child in the country into a political enemy.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Duncan said that American students need to stay in school for longer hours.
"This is not my most popular line when I've talked to young folks," he admitted. "But I think the idea of schools being open five days a week, six hours a day, nine months of the year just doesn't work for families in our country anymore."
Families are working one and two and three jobs now to make ends meet. Schools are safe havens. We want to make sure those are open longer hours, after school, weekends, throughout the summer.
I also want to make sure that our students can compete in an international economy. They're competing for jobs against children in India and China. And the fact is that many of those young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here.
Duncan also previewed President Obama's speech to students next week:
What's so fun about working for the president is this is so personal for him. He did not grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father wasn't around much. There were times when his family was on welfare.
And here he is, the president of our country, the leader of the free world, because he received a great education and worked so hard.
He's challenging all of us, but he is absolutely going to challenge students and parents to take their education seriously, to really have personal responsibility.
He really is asking students think about how critically important it is that they do well, that they take advantage of those opportunities and they apply themselves and they work hard.