U.S. Secretary of Education visits S. Fla. school

Students question role of technology

Published On: Jan 25 2012 10:25:18 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 26 2012 12:50:15 PM EST
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan got a standing ovation at a Pembroke Pines Charter High School Thursday.

His visit comes on the heels of President Obama's State of the Union speech where he talked about improving education nationwide. The President talked about raising the drop out rate from 16 to 18-years-old, something that would be a big challenge for educators.

"Trying to stop the drop our rate at 11th grade and 12th grade is too late.  You have already lost those kids. What are you doing in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade for those children that need a little extra support," said Duncan.

Students also got the chance to throw a question or two at the secretary.

"A semester's worth of text books is the cost of one iPad, we wouldn't have to be constantly purchasing new textbooks, would this be something we would try?," asked student Victoria Green.

 "Technology has changed education by 2 percent, education is so far behind everything else. Technology has a chance to dramatically reduce costs," said Duncan.

 Duncan also stressed to teachers to be more creative in the classroom; not to teach to the test. That can be a challenge in Florida since the FCAT carries a lot of weight in the state's education system.

 "Science, social studies, art, dance, drama, music-- all those contribute to students doing well," said Duncan.

Yolette Mezadieu, a teacher in the Networking for Teacher Entrepreneurship program, and her students from Miami Edison Senior High School, were also expected to attend.

Miami-Dade Schools said Mezadieu's students won two categories of the online NFTE World Series of Innovation Challenge.

Watch the winning videos here: