U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address hundreds of educators and school officials during his keynote address at the National Forum’s Annual Schools to Watch Conference at 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 23. The conference will be held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, Va
At the event, Duncan will discuss the school improvement efforts launched by the Schools to Watch program in middle schools, and he will highlight the unique role of the middle grades in education reform. Schools to Watch has identified over 300 schools in 19 states for their exemplary work with young adolescents. The conference will serve as a venue for educators beginning to work on whole-school reform through the Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network, one of the Department's 49 Investing in Innovation (i3) grantees.
The i3 grant program supports promising and proven projects that elevate student performance, close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and attract, support and retain high-quality teachers and principals. Schools to Watch: School Transformation Network builds academically excellent, developmentally responsive learning environments in persistently low-performing middle-grade schools to improve students' academic performance and close achievement gaps. Through their i3 grant, the organization proposes to develop and test promising innovations aimed at turning around 18 urban and rural schools in three states: North Carolina, California and Illinois.