Education Secretary Visits Merrillville to Address One Region, One vision on Partnerships in Education as Part of "Education and the Economy" Bus Tour

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Merrillville on Thursday, Sept. 8 during his "Education and the Economy" bus tour where he will give remarks at the One Region, One Vision committee’s annual meeting. Duncan will address 600 local area business, education and government leaders on the importance of engaging all sectors – public and private – in education, and the role education plays in restoring and sustaining a vibrant economy. Remarks will take place at 5:25 p.m. followed by a press availability at 5:45 p.m.

The One Region, One Vision commitee’s Thursday meeting is cohosted by the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life Council. The committee is a collaborative effort by regional officials to boost the quality of life in Northwest Indiana.

In addition to Duncan, U.S. Under Secretary for Education Martha Kanter and Jay Williams, former mayor of Youngstown and current director of the Office of Auto Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the U.S. Department of Labor, will deliver luncheon remarks during the meeting. Kanter and Williams will discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in expanding access to a high-quality education, increasing college enrollment and completion rates, and filling future jobs.

On Thursday, Kanter will be joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach John White for a local school visit to Calumet New Tech High School in Gary. During the visit, the two will meet with students, teachers and administrators and share the Administration’s efforts to increase access to higher education. In the afternoon, White will head to Kouts, Ind., where he will visit Kouts Middle-High School to further discuss the Department’s programs and initiatives, specifically highlighting efforts to support small and rural schools.

A group of the Department’s Teaching Ambassador Fellows (TAF) will accompany Undersecretary Kanter and Deputy Secretary White in Gary and Kouts to hold further discussions with teachers, both informally and in roundtable settings. The TAF program invites public school teachers from across the country to join the Department as professional contributors. TAFS hold one-year positions with the Department to learn about and contribute their expertise to national policy issues in education. Fellows, in turn, share what they’ve learned with other teachers and gain their input into policy and programs.

Thursday visits to Indiana by Duncan and several senior Department officials are of part of the Department's 2011 "Education and the Economy" bus tour, during which officials will hold various events across the Great Lakes region. Throughout their stops, they will discuss education reforms and innovations that are providing students of all ages with the knowledge and skills they need to be part of a well-educated workforce in the growing global economy.