WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Arne Duncan says it's tough to prepare students for college when they're more worried about being killed than making it to graduation.
Duncan told The Associated Press on Thursday that too many students are, quote, "trying to survive, day to day, wondering if they're going to make it past 16, 17 and 18." He says such fears block out the work teachers are trying to do to prepare those students for college.
Duncan, the former head of Chicago's public schools, was a key adviser for the gun control package the White House released this week following the Connecticut elementary school shootings.
He said those efforts, including 23 executive orders President Barack Obama signed on Wednesday, were a good step. But Duncan added: "This was only a first step."