U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Houston on Friday, Feb. 15, where he will hold a roundtable discussion on turnaround schools and participate in NBA All-Star Weekend activities.
Beginning at noon, Duncan will tour Lee High School, which is in the third year of a $6 million federal School Improvement Grant. Lee High School also is a part of the Houston Independent School District's (HISD) "Apollo 20" program, aimed at turning around some of the district's lowest-performing schools.
At 12:25 p.m. CT, Duncan will be joined by HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, Lee High School Principal Monica Quintero, district and school leaders, teachers, tutors, students and parents for a roundtable discussion. Participants will share their experiences as part of the Apollo 20 and SIG school turnaround efforts and the impact on student achievement so far. A press availability will follow.
At 2:20 p.m. CT, Duncan will help build the Fifth Ward Legends Play Space, a playground across the street from the Yes Prep-Fifth Ward Campus, as part of the 2013 NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service. Now in its sixth year, the NBA Day of Service is a partnership among the NBA and community and corporate organizations to support families in need throughout the city where the NBA All-Star Game is taking place. Throughout the day, 1,500 members of the NBA family will spread out across Houston to participate in home renovations, playground construction, and food sorting and packaging for distribution to local residents.
At 4:00 p.m. CT, Duncan will participate in a live NBA Google+ Hangout to talk about the importance of staying in school. During the virtual roundtable moderated by CNN's John King, Duncan will join WNBA player Maya Moore, NBA player Harrison Barnes, former NBA player Allan Houston, and high school student basketball players to talk about the role basketball has played in their education and maturation. There will be a Q&A about a range of education topics after the roundtable. The event can be viewed via https://plus.google.com/+NBA/ and users can participate on Twitter by using #NBAAllStar.
At 7:00 p.m. CT, Duncan, who played varsity basketball at Harvard University and later professionally in Australia, will participate in the 2013 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, taking place at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston.
In addition to Duncan's events, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deb Delisle will convene a town hall with Houston's education stakeholders to discuss education themes in the President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Delisle will focus particularly on the early learning proposal to make high-quality preschool programs available to every child in America.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, Duncan will attend the NBA Cares/Special Olympics basketball game at 1:45 p.m. CT, and the NBA All-Star Game at 7:00 p.m. CT.