U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will give the welcoming keynote speech at the first annual "Building a Grad Nation Summit" on Monday, March 21 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event, organized by America's Promise Alliance, supports their 10-year national campaign titled "Grad Nation – Mobilizing America to End the High School Dropout Crisis." Duncan's remarks will address the need to increase high school graduation rates and support dropout prevention efforts.
On Tuesday morning, Deputy Assistant Secretary John White will participate in a discussion on the unique challenges of educating students in rural areas. White will emphasize the Department's investments in rural education and the need to increase flexibility and local control so rural schools can do what works best for their students to prepare them for college and careers.
On Tuesday afternoon, Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier will moderate a panel on developing college and career ready students. Dann-Messier will highlight the Department's activities to help ensure that all students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce and lead a conversation on what states, school districts and community members can do to support college and career ready students.
Several hundred leaders from more than 350 national Alliance partners are expected to attend the summit, including local, state and federal policymakers, community delegations, business leaders, educators, parents, students and the news media. The three-day event is co-hosted by America's Promise Alliance, the Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.