Senior Department Officials Highlight Community, Business, Parent Partnerships as Key to Educational Success

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Education Department Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss and Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will host a forum with local community partners to highlight the ways innovation can transform education at Brown Street Academy in Milwaukee. The discussion will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8. Brown Street partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and has received funds through the Department’s Investment in Innovation (i3) program, which provides grants to expand and implement innovative practices that can impact student achievement. Department staff members are also working with Milwaukee Public Schools and local leaders to develop an action agenda for building community partnerships to improve student achievement.

Weiss and Girton-Mitchell are two of several senior officials who are hosting events in the Milwaukee area in advance of White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes’ and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s visit on Friday, during which they will focus on the role that education plays in securing America’s economic future as part of a region-wide tour.

Also in Milwaukee on Thursday, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier will discuss innovative strategies in community colleges that can better help working adults and displaced workers at an event at Milwaukee Area Technical College at 10:45 a.m. In the afternoon, Jose Rico, the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, will host a parent forum at South Division High School from 4-6 p.m. to discuss the President’s agenda on improving education for the Hispanic community.

Additionally in Wisconsin, John White, deputy assistant secretary for rural outreach, will host a conversation at Green Lake High School in Green Lake, Wis., to learn about the ways in which local leaders are addressing the needs of rural schools.