WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) Across the nation, education standards are a hot topic.
Eastern Kentucky faces specific challenges that other parts of the nation may not encounter.
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made his way through parts of the state Friday, speaking to education groups about their push for higher quality education.
Duncan was in Jackson County at a roundtable discussion about the Promise Neighborhood Initiative.
"Our theory is to help ensure that every child in the neighborhood has a consistent, caring adult watching out for them,"said initiative director Ginny Ann Blackson.
After speaking to folks in Sandgap, Secretary Duncan went to Pleasant View Elementary School to promote early education.
While in Whitley County, he stressed the importance of beginning a child's education as early as possible during the town hall meeting.
"I just hope that Washington can learn from the example of this community and this state," said Secretary Duncan, "All we want to do is be a good partner. We see tremendous work going on here in Kentucky, but like every other state, we see thousands of kids not getting opportunities."
Duncan claims the work here is far from over.
"This is a community and a state that is really serious about its children," he said, "and not insignificant obstacles, not insignificant challenges. Unemployment. Poverty. Substance abuse. But no one is hiding from those very real challenges. No one is declaring it a success."
Duncan stressed bipartisan cooperation to ensure a state, and country, of high quality education. For more information on two of the groups Duncan visited, http://www.berea.edu/esp/programs/promise-neighborhood-program/ .... http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6115947/k.8D6E/Official_Site.htm