While the growth of charter schools means more options for students, it can make the process of deciding which school to attend more difficult. Many charters are still new, and there is limited research on how effective they are on improving student outcomes.
Duncan said it’s important for parents to visit schools and make an informed choice.
‘‘Every child learns differently,’’ he said. ‘‘Every child has strengths and weaknesses. Get a sense of the right learning environment for your son or daughter.’’
He urged all parents to contribute to their child’s school, whether it’s through donations and volunteering, helping coach a team or keeping kids on track with their assignments.
‘‘I always say parents are their children’s first teachers, and I think, by definition, their most important teachers,’’ he said.
Duncan said his two children, who are in public schools, continue their learning in the evening through Khan Academy, an organization that offers thousands of free lessons online. He said making sure children in disadvantaged communities have access to technology will be critical.
‘‘To me, that’s a huge part of creating a more equal educational system,’’ he said.
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