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Duncan Underscores Value of Special Educators

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan aimed to inspire his audience last week at the Council for Exceptional Children's annual conference, calling special education a moral and civil rights issue.

CEC, an advocacy group for special educators, has put a video of the seven-minute speech on its Web site. You can watch it here.

Duncan's speech, in Nashville, Tenn., touched on many contemporary topics in education, such as the need to save school jobs as part of education reform. He also called for greater inclusion for children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms.

The audience of special educators interrupted the speech at numerous points with applause. "Disabilities are not destiny," Duncan said. "...the work that you all do as special education leaders and teachers is so extraordinarily important."

He said special educators are important to helping the administration meet a goal of making the United States lead the world in college completion rates by 2020.

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