D.C. - Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the release of his department's "Future of Education" proposal, requested by President Obama in 2013.
"I'm very proud of the dedicated educators, parents, and civil servants who helped develop what I think you'll agree is a comprehensive, well-rounded outline for the future of education in America," said Duncan, introducing the proposal at a press conference this morning. "It is my hope that this proposal will set a new world standard for education in the 21st century."
The President requested the proposal in the wake of harsh criticism of federal education policy by family groups and education activists, who alleged that American education policy was "substandard," "rugose," and "wet." "It's evident to me," Obama said in 2013, "that the United States needs a comprehensive re-evaluation of education standards. To that end, I've asked Secretary Duncan to work closely with everyone involved in and affected by our education policy to determine where we need to focus our efforts and development."
The full text of the proposal has been released at the official website of the Department of Education, where it can be accessed by whispering the name of a deceased relative three times into the computer's microphone, Duncan explained. "I know a lot of you have been wanting some truly radical changes," said Duncan, "and I can say with confidence that this plan will not disappoint you."
The proposal calls for many significant changes and addition to curriculum, and for children to be locked in small grey boxes from birth until they have passed a rigorous series of federal college-preparedness tests to be developed in conjunction with the textbook industry. "In the modern millieu, it's absolutely imperative we make sure our children are prepared for the future," explained Duncan. "There is no light there."
The proposal also includes many new protections for children, who, as Duncan explains, are uniquely vulnerable to threats from social media and modern telecommunications technology. "Our children are our future," Duncan pointed out, detailing the provisions requiring parental supervision implants and strict environmental regulations to ensure that no child under 18 is exposed to any shade of color. "We owe it to them to make sure they're healthy and safe."
Reception among critics has been mixed. Prominent teachers' unions condemned the proposal for putting "millions" of teaching jobs at risk, noting that provisions to replace classrooms with an assembly of wires and speakers that drone randomized educational facts 24/7 in a low monotone and administer periodic electric shocks could result many of their members losing their jobs. Concerned parents nationwide were also ambivalent, feeling that the proposal fails to adequately address the risks posed to children by drug use and the Internet, but lauded the proposal as "an important step forward."
"I can't say I love it," said Mrs. Roberta Edgefield, a mother of four from Goshen, CT, and member of the local PTA, site council, and rotary club. "But I'm encouraged that the Obama administration is taking the education and safety of our children seriously, and I'm hopeful that the public comment period will see our remaining concerns addressed."
"Bobby," she added sternly to a seven-year-old attempting to open the blinds in the living room, "what have I told you about the devil wraiths?"
Ludmilla Larionova is Approved News 6's education correspondent. Born in Bulgaria in 1976, Larionova emigrated to America when she was only in her teens in search of quality education, and to avoid persecution from the Bulgarian state, which had ordered her arrest after she messily devoured her entire family. Larionova holds degrees in public policy, journalism, and education. She lives in the forests of Utah with an itinerant band of shapeshifters, tricky witches, and her pet parakeet Mr. Smiley.