Martha J. Kanter, U.S. Undersecretary of Education, Spoke at Climate Leadership Summit
Stephen Muzzy, Program Manager at Second Nature highlights sessions and resources from the 2009 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, which took place in Chicago in mid August, 2009. In this post, he describes the presentation of Dr. Martha J. Kanter, U.S. Undersecretary of Education.
Dr. Martha J. Kanter the U.S. Undersecretary of Education and former Chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College District delivered the opening keynote at the 2009 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit. Dr. Kanter made clear that the Obama administration recognizes the importance and the challenge of addressing climate disruption and that formal education is a key strategy to halt it. With the administrations support, the Department of Education is focused on creating a common agenda for how we live and how we educate in order to provide health and economic prosperity for all. To achieve this, Dr. Kanter believes that sharing information and collaborating across sectors are the most effective means to scale up efforts towards a green and clean economy. Dr. Kanter shared the following key developments in federal policy, stimulus funding, and information on creating healthy, high performance schools:
Recovery.gov, a public-facing website to foster accountability and transparency in the use of allocated funds. Money has been allocated for green job training, renovation, and public safety programs.
American Graduation Initiative (ARI) - created to strengthen community colleges, which calls for five million additional graduates by 2020.
The U.S. Departments of Education, Energy, and Labor have collaborated to expand the U.S. workforce through green jobs training.
Increase the U.S competiveness in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by focusing on green technology and synchronizing STEM education efforts across federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Education.
Open Educational Resources (OER) - $500 million for 10 years to develop high quality on-line educational curriculums including an open source network for faculty to learn and share.
The National Clearing House for Educational Facilities (NCEF) - created by the U.S. Department of Education and managed by the National Institute of Building Sciences, NCEF provides information on planning, designing, funding, building, improving, and maintaining safe, healthy, high performance schools.
Dr. Kanter concluded her presentation by stating that together we need to think about funding education holistically over the long-term. The Department of Education is listening and wants to hear from colleges and universities on their climate and sustainability strategies. The ACUPCC implementation efforts are providing clear benefits in reducing energy costs and strengthening local communities. The Department of Education wants to work with signatories to share the outstanding resources currently available. The purpose will be to leverage education to create a strong and healthy U.S. economy now and for years to come.
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