U.S. Secretary of Education to Join Local and U.S. Educators as well as Community Leaders at Puerto Rico Education Summit

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is one of several Department officials who will join educators and leaders from Puerto Rico and the U.S. to host the Puerto Rico Education Summit: Investing in our Future as part of President Obama’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status. The summit will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday, Oct. 17.

The event will aim to challenge all of Puerto Rico’s education stakeholders to come together and understand the urgency of ensuring that all students are receiving a world-class public education. The dialogue at the summit will include identifying and elaborating successful strategies that elevate student performance through teacher, principal, political and business engagement. Summit panelists include U.S. and local officials, superintendents, former teachers and members of the business community. Throughout the summit, panelists will engage in open and in-depth discussions centered on highlighting problem-solving in the following four areas: system-wide education reform; labor-management collaboration; achieving success in chronically underperforming schools; and education and business community. Duncan will provide opening and closing remarks, as well as answer questions from the audience. In addition to hosting the Puerto Rico Education Summit, Duncan will visit with local teachers, elected officials and education stakeholders. This is the first time a U.S. Secretary of Education has visited Puerto Rico in almost 20 years.

The summit is a continuation of what has been an ongoing dialogue among the U.S. Department of Education, the President’s Task Force for Puerto Rico’s Status and local education stakeholders about best strategies to improve the Puerto Rico public education system. In the weeks following the summit, the U.S. Department of Education will help local education stakeholders publish a paper documenting the insights shared and lessons learned.

The visit to Puerto Rico comes on the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, during which the Administration held and participated in a number of events to acknowledge the successes and challenges with increasing Latino academic success. Some of the events include: a community town hall meeting with Duncan at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, Calif.; the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ Second Presidential Advisory Commission meeting and swearing-in; a Hispanic-Serving Institutions Summit hosted by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics; and a Twitter town hall with Duncan moderated by Juan Sepulveda, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 annually.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Press access will be open to all sessions on Monday, Oct. 17. Details are listed below. Space is limited. All attendees, including press, need to be credentialed. Media interested in attending should RSVP to [email protected] by 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.