UPDATE (2 p.m.)—U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chose , Baltimore County's , to speak about national education challenges Wednesday morning.
Before an audience of nearly 850 Baltimore County language arts teachers, Duncan received applause when he said teachers should be paid as much as doctors and lawyers.
He criticized several federal No Child Left Behind mandates, and focused on the U.S. Department of Education’s RESPECT Project, which seeks to bring a "sustainable transformation of the teaching profession."
"Reform is important ... unfortunately, America is slipping," Duncan said.
Read more about his speech in the article, .
Democratic State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier, a Perry Hall resident, said she found the speech "inspiring."
"Looking at the dynamic and how he appreciates what the kids are doing and how they come first—it was just great," Klausmeier said.
, a Perry Hall resident and Republican, added his approval.
"It was a good speech, it wasn't a partisan speech. He focused on a lot of themes that I think Republicans and Democrats can agree on—such as local flexibility. The tricky part is always funding," Marks said.
Marks' wife, a Baltimore County English teacher, was also in the audience during Duncan's speech, he said.
"It's not always going to be easy to get additional funding," Klausmeier added. "We need to look at programs and figure out what's working. That's what people need to hear, and teachers need to hear the respect they deserve."
Do you think teachers deserve higher pay? Can government afford to pay teachers more? Tell us in the comments.
Local Editor Nayana Davis contributed to this article.