Education Officials to Visit Minneapolis, Will Hold "Together for Tomorrow" Town Hall to Highlight Importance of Community Engagement in Education

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U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will participate in a “Together for Tomorrow” (TFT) town hall on the value of community partnerships in helping to propel school improvement. She will discuss the need to turn around low-performing schools and the value of partnerships in helping to do that. In addition, Kanter will highlight the Department’s School Improvement Grants program, which are funds made available to states by formula after which school districts compete for shares. In the process, districts must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine how they will do it using one of four turnaround models. The event will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 8, at North Community High School in Minneapolis.

Following Kanter’s remarks, Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Department’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will moderate a panel discussion with local representatives on school-community partnerships. There will be a question-and-answer session after the panel discussion. A media avail will follow.

Together for Tomorrow is an initiative that spotlights and fosters partnerships among schools, families, national service programs, and community-based organizations in order to help turn around low-performing schools. A few months ago, the Secretary launched the initiative’s public challenge at The challenge is an opportunity for schools and districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations to join with other partners in efforts to improve their neediest schools by raising key measurable student outcomes: Attendance, Behavior, Course performance and college access, also known as the ABCs.

In April, U.S. Secretary of Education announced the TFT Challenge, inviting applications outlining strategic community partnerships to support local schools. The submission period is open until June 29. Winners will be nationally recognized for their work and become part of the Together for Tomorrow learning network. Selected applicants also will be invited to attend a special event in Washington, D.C.

The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the U.S. Department of Education, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Greater Twin Cities United Way are sponsoring the Together for Tomorrow town hall.