On Monday, Secretary Duncan traveled to Denver to visit Lowry Elementary School with Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. In the afternoon, Duncan participated in a Constitution Day presentation in Limon, Colo. On Tuesday, Arne visited the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kan., and the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kan. He ended the day with a town hall meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Check out some of the press highlights from these events.
Denver and Limon, Colo.
Dance Off: Arne Duncan Schooled By Kathleen Sebelius? Arne participated in nutrition and fitness events at Lowry Elementary School and got quizzed on Constitution Day by “very smart fifth graders” in Limon. Read the story in EdWeek and view the video embedded in the story. Watch a video highlighting Duncan’s tour of the Lowry wellness program and the lunch he shared with students and a news report about the garden at Lowry, which food preparer “Princess Green” uses to make lunches for the school. Later Duncan told reporters, “What happens in Denver, what happens in Colorado has national implications.” “Bigwigs from Washington and Colorado… walk the walk, talk the talk… and get down a little” in Denver.
Speaking from the steps of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Arne called for educators to work to “close the opportunity gap” among students.
Offering an “eye-opening message about continued segregation across the country,” Duncan spoke with students, teachers and administrators about the opportunity gap. He pointed out that U.S. schools are more segregated now then they have been since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Duncan indicated that nearly 40 percent of black and Hispanic students attend schools where more than 90 percent of students are non-white. And he urged educators to do more to lower the dropout rate.
The Gazette in Emporia, which is home to the National Teacher Hall of Fame, ran a profile of the Secretary that included a biography of his early career and some highlights of his tenure at the U.S. Department of Education. Read Who is Arne Duncan?
Kansas City, Mo.
Arne held a Hispanic town hall with Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, and urged the nation to “stop playing catch up” with education.
As part of the wide-ranging discussion of education Secretary Duncan spoke with passion about the need for consistent educational leadership in Kansas City. He also talked about the importance of keeping our schools open more hours to make schools “the heart of the neighborhood” and help parents to become more involved.