U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Visit Las Vegas, Deliver Speeches, Tour Schools

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., Wednesday where he will spotlight efforts to make college more affordable, promote high academic standards and strengthen career-technical education. He will deliver a pair of speeches and visit noteworthy local schools.

Duncan will begin his public events with a 9:50 a.m. address to more than 6,000 financial aid professionals attending the 2013 Federal Student Aid Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. He will discuss the Obama administration's efforts to address rising college costs and make college more affordable for American families, including the administration's proposal to create a college ratings system that would better inform students and encourage institutions to improve.

At 10:35 a.m., the secretary will join U.S. Sen. Harry Reid to visit Walter Bracken STEAM Academy, a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School led by Principal Kathleen Decker, a 2013 Terrel H. Bell Award winner for outstanding school leadership. After meeting with district leaders, teachers, and students, Secretary Duncan and Sen. Reid will visit a classroom. After the classroom visit, Secretary Duncan will participate in a roundtable discussion with district principals on the transition to higher academic standards. Pat Skorkowsky, Clark County School District superintendent, will moderate the discussion, and a media availability will follow.

Later, at 12:50 p.m., Duncan will tour East Career Technical Academy, a magnet high school that offers a variety of career and technical education programs. The secretary will highlight President Obama's proposal to strengthen career and technical education, in part through redesigning America's high schools via the new Youth CareerConnect program. A media availability will follow at the school.

At 7 p.m., the secretary will speak to the Association for Career and Technical Education's annual conference, where he will discuss the president's Youth CareerConnect announcement to dramatically redesign the high school experience, ensuring that all students graduate better-equipped for the demands of a high-tech economy.