U.S. Department of Education Senior Official to Discuss Administration’s Goal to Elevate Teaching Profession at 2013 Agricultural Education Summit in Indianapolis

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Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach John White will discuss the vital role that teachers play in the academic success of students, the need for more great teachers, and the Administration's commitment to elevating the profession at the 2013 Agricultural Education Summit in Indianapolis. White will give remarks during the first general session, which takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Jan. 30. A video message from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will precede White’s remarks. White also will deliver greetings from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Secretaries Duncan and Vilsack are members of the White House Rural Council and signed an interagency agreement last year to have their two agencies work more closely together to strengthen agricultural education.

The two-day summit, taking place Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 30-31, is hosted by the National Council for Agricultural Education. It will bring together local, state and national agriculture education leaders. This year's theme is "Recruitment and Retention of Teachers for School Based Agriculture Education." The National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America) is providing a live video feed of the sessions at http://www.ihigh.com/ffa/. On Twitter, follow the National Association of Agricultural Educators @NAAE; and use hashtag, #agedu.

Last year, the Department launched the RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) initiative, which is the Obama administration's effort to honor and elevate America's educators. The initiative's goal is to work with educators in rebuilding their profession-and to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal, state and local education policy. The larger goal is to make teaching not only America's most important profession-but America’s most respected profession. The Administration’s 2013 proposed budget includes a new $5 billion competitive program that would challenge states and school districts to work with teachers, unions, colleges of education and other education stakeholders to reform the teaching profession.