Secretary Duncan Listens and Learns in the District of Columbia

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Last week more than 100 educators, parents, students, policymakers, and community members gathered in the cafeteria of Luke C. Moore Academy Senior High School in North East Washington, D.C., for a town hall discussion on improving education.  The town hall, held in D.C.’s Ward Five neighborhood, was the culmination of a series of discussions across the city’s eight wards, sponsored by the local nonprofit organization, DC VOICE.

Conversation at the small, round discussion tables in the cafeteria focused on two major topics:  community involvement in schools and teacher quality. Throughout the evening, audience members used handheld remote control devices provided by DC VOICE to “vote” on which topics they wanted to examine in depth. Secretary Duncan traveled to a few different tables, hearing the views and concerns of D.C. residents and their ideas for taking local success stories to scale.

The secretary’s assertion that D.C. Public Schools should serve as a beacon of hope for students across the city and should work to be a model for other districts across the nation received resounding applause. Secretary Duncan noted, however, that there is much work to be done to make this vision a reality and challenged every member in the audience—from the students to the business and community leaders—to get involved in the effort to improve education.

Secretary Duncan was joined at Luke C. Moore Academy by Washington, D.C., Ward Five Council Member Harry Thomas, Jr., D.C. Public Schools Deputy Chancellor Kaya Henderson, and other local education stakeholders.

See a video of photos and voices from the November 24 town hall.

Tiffany Taber
Office of Communications and Outreach

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