U.S. Education Secretary Duncan to Visit San Francisco, Spotlighting Economic Value of a Quality Education for All

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to San Francisco for events Monday and Tuesday aimed at spotlighting the economic benefits to America of developing excellence in education – from cradle to career.

At 1:15 p.m. PT, Secretary Duncan will join Mayor Ed Lee, Police Chief Greg Suhr and California State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in visiting the Yerba Buena Gardens Child Development Center, where they will observe a high-quality preschool class and hold a press availability.  Duncan and President Obama are committed to closing the opportunity gap and working with states and local communities to ensure high-quality early learning for every child so that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life.

Following this visit, at 1:45 p.m. PT, the Secretary will deliver the keynote address to the White House Early Education Town Hall – “Children: The Bay Area’s Greatest Investment” – being held at the Children’s Creativity Museum.  On hand will be Sen. Steinberg, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza, and more than 150 state and local leaders who will discuss California’s early learning successes and chart a path forward for the state’s youngest learners.

Afterward at 2:35 p.m. PT, Secretary Duncan will visit Philip & Sala Burton High School where he will observe an engineering class and hold a roundtable discussion with national business leaders working with the National Academy Foundation.  They will discuss the importance of college- and career-ready standards and talk about partnerships that the leaders have created with schools to establish and strengthen career academies. A press availability will follow at 3:55 p.m. PT.

On Tuesday at 8:05 a.m. PT, the Secretary will hold a roundtable discussion at Roosevelt Middle School with educators about their successes and challenges on transitioning to new standards and assessments.  At 9:05 a.m. PT, he will tour the school, hearing about the progress that students are making to become more equipped for college and careers.  A press availability will follow at 9:25 a.m. PT.

The Obama Administration strongly believes that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, and education is crucial to the economic strength and security of our nation and communities. The Department of Education’s work is focused on ensuring all students receive an education that prepares them for success in life and their career, through programs including Race to the Top, ConnectED, School Improvement Grants, as well as the Department’s work to expand access to preschool and make college more affordable.

The trip to California continues Secretary Duncan’s Partners in Progress tour, which highlights the partnership among the federal government, state officials, district and school leaders, and local educators that has helped support much of the progress celebrated in these visits.

In the past year, America’s students have made historic achievements: the highest high school graduation rate in the nation’s history, sharp cuts in dropout rates and increases in college enrollment, especially for groups that in the past have lagged significantly. These accomplishments are a testament to the hard work of the nation’s teachers, principals, and students – and their families.