U.S. Education Secretary Duncan to Highlight Education Reform at Events in Des Moines

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Des Moines for education events Sunday and Monday, spotlighting the need to promote educational excellence for students in Iowa and across America.

On Sunday, Secretary Duncan and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin will visit Carver Community School where they will participate in a lesson with local teachers and school children to see firsthand how preschool benefits children. Afterward, Duncan and Harkin will convene a roundtable discussion with education and community leaders from across the state to hear about how quality early learning programs have benefited both urban and rural communities in Iowa. Gov. Terry Branstad recently announced Iowa's intent to apply for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Fund, a new $500 million state-level grant competition that will encourage states to develop bold and comprehensive plans for raising the quality of early learning programs.

On Monday, Secretary Duncan will deliver the keynote address at Gov. Branstad's Iowa Education Summit. Duncan will discuss the need for Iowa to elevate education to empower Iowans to compete in the global economy. In addition, he will offer his assessment of Iowa's progress in strengthening its education system. The summit is aimed at building a consensus on how to give all students a world-class education, no matter where they live. More than 1,600 are expected to attend the two-day event at Des Moines' HyVee Hall.