On Day 2 of the U.S. Department of Education’s ”Strong Start, Bright Future” back-to-school bus tour, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will hold events in El Paso, Texas and Columbus, New Mexico.
To kick off the second day of the bus tour, Secretary Duncan will visit El Paso’s Transmountain Early College High School, located adjacent to the campus of El Paso Community College, where he will tour classrooms and host a town hall on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The visit aims to spotlight collaboration between the high school and community college, in which the juniors and seniors take courses at the community college and graduate with college credits, incorporating some of the core elements that the Education Department is calling for as part of its high school redesign initiative. A press availability with Secretary Duncan will follow the event in El Paso.
In the afternoon, Secretary Duncan will travel to Columbus, N. M., where he will visit with the school community of Columbus Elementary School to discuss challenges of teaching a diverse student population. He will be joined by Marco Davis, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. They will be available to the media following the closed-press roundtable.
Deb Delisle, U.S. assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, will also visit El Paso on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to lead a panel discussion on STEM early learning and discuss the President’s Preschool for All initiative, followed by a question-and-answer session with some 30 educators and community leaders. It will be held at the John Uxer I Head Start Center.
Also on Tuesday, Michael Yudin, acting U.S. assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, will visit Las Cruces, N.M., for several panel discussions and a site visit. The first panel, with key stakeholders at Aprendamos Intervention Team, will highlight the region’s early learning programs designed to improve outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities through services and supports under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Yudin will then visit Jardin de los Ninos, an early learning setting that provides necessary services for children with disabilities.
In the early afternoon, Yudin will travel to New Mexico State University to participate in three panel discussions with professors and students in the College of Education. The panels will focus on educational leadership, autism, and bilingual communication disorders.
“The strength of America's economy is inextricably linked to the strength of America's education system,” said Secretary Duncan. “This year's bus tour will be an opportunity to discuss throughout the southwest how investments in education are critical to our country’s future and how state and local reforms are delivering encouraging results. Our theme of ‘Strong Start, Bright Future’ also speaks to the importance of starting the school year off right and providing all our children with high-quality preschool to prepare them ultimately for success in college and careers.”
From Columbus, the Secretary’s week-long bus tour will take him to Tucson, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Yuma, Ariz., and Chula Vista, Calif. Secretary Duncan and other senior Department officials will be meeting with teachers, parents, students and education leaders to learn more about innovative programs that are working to improve outcomes for students, as well as to share information about the Administration’s work to leverage education reform and ensure that all students benefit from high-quality educational opportunities.
For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Strong Start, Bright Future tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour13, or see the department’s bus tour page: www.ed.gov/bustour. To receive media advisories, press releases, notifications about postings to the blog, and other special updates during the tour, subscribe to the department’s Strong Start, Bright Future email updates. (https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USED/subscriber/new?topic_id=USED_147).