U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will kick off the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in Redwood City, Calif., with a visit to Sequoia High School. This school visit is the official first event in a series of engagements to be held coast-to-coast where Secretary Duncan and other senior leaders from the Department will reinforce the message that Education Drives America.
The bus tour will begin in California’s Silicon Valley and conclude on the evening of Friday, Sept. 21 at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Additional stops include: Las Vegas, Reno, and Elko, Nevada; Salt Lake City; Rawlins, Rock Springs, and Cheyenne, Wyo.; Denver, Colorado Springs, and Limon, Colo.; Topeka and Emporia, Kan.; Columbia, St. Louis, and Kansas City, Mo.; Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Charleston and McDowell County, W.Va.; and Roanoke and Richmond, Va.
“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” Duncan said. “It is the key to a vibrant middle class, strong national security and our global economic competitiveness. This bus tour is an opportunity to highlight what’s working and create momentum for education reforms that improve the lives of all students.”
Secretary Duncan will begin his visit to Sequoia High School by joining students, parents, teachers, and education stakeholders for an event focusing on equity and expanding opportunities to learn with emerging digital technologies. Audience members will use new media to ask questions through Twitter and Facebook. The event will be livestreamed and there will be a Twitter question stream for online participants.
In addition to these events with Secretary Duncan, Department of Education senior officials will travel across Silicon Valley on Wednesday for a number of other events outlined below: (Note: Exact times and locations will be announced soon.)
- Deputy Secretary Tony Miller and Director of Education Technology Karen Cator will hold an education leadership roundtable directly following the kickoff event at the Redwood City School District office.
- Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Jim Shelton will hold a business roundtable hosted at the Microsoft offices in Sunnyvale, Calif.
- Shelton and Cator will meet with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, hosted at Stanford University.
Prior to the official kickoff, senior officials will engage with communities across the Redwood City and Silicon Valley areas from Saturday, Sept. 8 through Tuesday, Sept. 11 for events listed below: (Note: Exact times and locations for these engagements also will be announced soon.)
Saturday, Sept. 8
- Cator will visit Sequoia High School with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which engages students in music, storytelling, video production, and journalism. Sequoia students will produce a “back-to-school” themed music video that will be aired on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Education Drives America kickoff event.
Monday, Sept. 10
- Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deb Delisle, Director of Special Education Programs Melody Musgrove, and Special Assistant for the White House Domestic Policy Council Steve Robinson will visit Napa New Tech High School and hold a roundtable discussion on technology-supported learning.
- Under Secretary Martha Kanter will help launch the Mentor Makerspace Program at an event hosted at San Mateo Community College with Cator, Delisle and Shelton.
- Kanter and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Sue Swenson will host a career pathways roundtable discussion focused on the workforce and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the Google Campus in Mountain View, Calif.
Tuesday, Sept. 11
- Secretary Duncan and Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, will keynote the LEAD Symposium at Stanford University School of Business. Shelton, Cator, Delisle and Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss also will participate.
- Swenson and Musgrove will hold a roundtable on college and careers for students with disabilities at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkley, Calif.
- Kanter will participate in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Palo Alto, Calif. The event will engage participants in an in-depth discussion about the Administration’s efforts to keep college affordable for every American.
More specific details about the bus tour stops in the Silicon Valley and Redwood City areas will become available as the time for the events draws closer. For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag, #edtour12, or visit the Department’s bus tour blog. To receive media advisories, press releases, notifications about postings to the blog, and other special updates during the tour, subscribe to the Department’s Education Drives America e-mail updates by clicking here.
The 2012 bus tour marks the third consecutive year Secretary Duncan and senior staff have promoted education on a back-to-school bus tour. In 2010, the tour included the Delta region in the South and the Northeast. In 2011, the tour covered the Midwest from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin.