The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) will travel through Texas on a back-to-school outreach tour from Wednesday, Sept. 4, to Friday, Sept.6, 2013.
The WHIEEH will visit South and West Texas to share information about the President's education initiatives and gather input and feedback from community leaders, stakeholders and educators about successful efforts and issues of concern, to inform education policy-making in Washington.
The WHIEEH's Back-to-School Texas Tour 2013 will jump-start the U.S. Department of Education's "Strong Start, Bright Future" Back-to-School Bus Tour that will begin Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 in Santa, Fe, NM and will continue along the Southwest border to California.
"Our key priority is to increase Hispanic education attainment levels, thereby contributing to President Obama's 2020 Goal—to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates by the year 2020," said Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the WHIEEH. "We want to ensure that all Hispanics receive a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a career, and productive and satisfying lives. The tour of Texas will provide us with a great opportunity to advance the President's education agenda and increase the participation of the Hispanic community in the U.S. Department of Education's programs."
The tour will make nine stops in seven cities that include a combined population of nearly 2.6 million people, of which nearly 2.2 million are Hispanic. Throughout the tour, Administration officials will discuss President Obama's plans for early education and Preschool for All, as well as the President's call to re-design America's high schools and to promote college affordability and reduce college costs. Stops along the tour will highlight effective parental engagement, teacher preparation and STEM education strategies in the Hispanic community.
On Thursday, September 5, the WHIEEH will start the day in Laredo, where they will conduct a roundtable discussion with College of Education students at Texas A&M International University focusing on Teacher Preparation. The WHIEEH will then head to a site visit of Laredo Independent School District Early College High School. From there, the WHIEEH will travel to Eagle Pass for two events. The first event will be a site visit at Pete Gallego Elementary School, talking with school officials and parents about parental engagement. The second event will finish off the day with a Town Hall at Eagle Pass High School focusing on K-12 Education and community involvement.
Finally, the WHIEEH will conclude the tour on Friday, September 6, in El Paso, where they will visit the University of Texas at El Paso, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) focused school. They will host a Town Hall on STEM Education that will incorporate STEM projects by local university and high school students.