Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that failing public schools pose her greatest national security concern, one she warned could undermine the United States’ ability to lead and to compete in a global economy.
Equal access to educational opportunities, she said, also lies at the heart of one of the nation’s most important core values — the belief in the United States as a true meritocracy.
Rice, a Stanford University professor before joining the Bush administration, spoke at a conference of women organized by former TV journalist Maria Shriver, the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As an educator, Rice said it broke her heart to see “kids who might be the next Nobel Prize winner … trapped in some public school that’s just basically warehousing them.”