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U.S. Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter, Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, and Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier to Visit Rawlins and Rock Springs as Part of 2012 Cross-Country Back-to-School Bus Tour Promoting Education

“Education Drives America” to Spotlight Classroom Success, Link Education and the Economy

Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour, Under Secretary Martha Kanter, Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, and Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier will visit Rock Springs and Rawlins, Wyo., on Thursday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 14 to highlight education successes and lead community conversations about school reform, college affordability and completion, and the connection between education and jobs.

“America’s future is directly linked to the quality of education that we provide our children, young people and adults,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who will begin the tour on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in Redwood City, Calif. “Education is the key to a vibrant middle class, strong national security and our global economic competitiveness.”

Secretary Duncan and his leadership team will crisscross the country from Sept. 12-21 for a series of events highlighting the theme that Education Drives America. Besides the visit to Rock Springs and Rawlins, some of the other stops include Sacramento, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Denver; Topeka, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis; Evansville, Ind.; Lexington, Ky.; Charleston, W.Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C.

On the morning of Sept. 14, Kanter and Weiss will tour health and energy career academies and participate in a roundtable discussion at Rock Springs High School. Across the country, career academies combine college-preparatory and career and technical curricula, united by a career theme, such as health care, business and finance, or engineering. The aim of career academies is to make education more relevant to students through personalized and contextual learning, while preparing students for continuing education at the postsecondary level and for successful careers. The Administration has proposed providing $1 billion in funding to expand the number of career academies by 3,000 nationwide and to provide services to an additional half million students.

Later that day, Kanter and Weiss will visit the Carbon County Higher Education Center to participate in a roundtable discussion on the topic of distance learning with an audience including Wyoming’s state and county school superintendents, local college leaders, and local community college students and teachers.

Prior to Kanter’s and Weiss’s visit, on the morning of Sept. 13, Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, also will visit Rock Springs High School, where she will tour a training center and host a roundtable discussion on career academies with students, faculty, staff, and business partners. That day, Dann-Messier also will visit Western Wyoming Community College, where she will participate in a roundtable discussion with faculty, staff, and students.

More specific details about the bus tour stop in Rock Springs and Rawlins, Wyo., 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.