Education Secretary Highlights Labor Collaboration, Early Childhood Education in Pennsylvania to Kick Off Great Lakes Bus Tour

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicks off the Department’s “Education and the Economy” bus tour with an event at Pittsburgh King PreK-8 at 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Duncan will join Pittsburgh Superintendent Linda Lane for a panel discussion with local labor leaders to talk about labor management collaboration and the key role it plays in driving success in the classroom. A press availability will follow the panel discussion.

Under Secretary Martha Kanter will also be in Pittsburgh on Wednesday as part of a series of events the Department is participating in across the Great Lakes region this week that will highlight education issues and reforms that are providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to be part of a well-educated workforce and boost the economy. Kanter will address administrators, teachers and students to discuss open resources that can enable students across the country to gain access to quality higher education at 2 p.m. at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Following Duncan’s discussion in Pittsburgh, he will head to Erie, Pa., to tour a classroom and engage in a roundtable discussion with local leaders about the positive impact of high-quality early learning programs as well as the Department’s recently launched state-level grant competition: the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge. The event will be at 11:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at the Early Connections – Early Learning Center. Duncan will be joined by Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Alexa Posny and Senior Advisor for Early Learning Jacqueline Jones. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will join via Skype, and a press availability will follow the conversation.

At 3 p.m. in nearby Edinboro, Jones and Posny will host a roundtable on how to best prepare teachers for special needs students. The discussion will take place at Edinboro University. During the conversation, they will cover topics such as establishing effective and high-quality professional competencies, teacher certification challenges, and early-learning outcomes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and children.