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U.S. education secretary to visit Berkeley County

May 04, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to visit Berkeley County Tuesday on the first stop of his nationwide "listening and learning" tour, the U.S. Department of Education announced in a news release.

Duncan will meet parents and teachers at Bunker Hill Elementary School in the morning, then have lunch with students at Eagle School Intermediate from noon to 1:30 p.m.

"Our students and staff members are looking forward to meeting Secretary Duncan," Eagle School Principal Margaret Kursey said in a news release.

At 2 p.m., there will be a town hall meeting with students, instructors, administrators and area employers at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg.

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Duncan, West Virginia first lady Gayle Manchin, former Gov. Bob Wise, James Skidmore, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, and state Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Paine are expected to take part in a panel-style conversation about education moderated by CTC President Peter Checkovich.

Manchin, Paine and Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon will accompany Duncan during his visit, the release said.

In the coming months, Duncan will travel to 15 or more states to solicit feedback from a broad group of stakeholders about federal education policy in anticipation of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the news release said. The tour will gather input on the Obama administration's education agenda, including early childhood, higher standards, teacher quality, work-force development and higher education.

"The primary purpose of the Listening and Learning tour is to have a national dialogue about how to best deliver a complete and competitive education to all children -- from cradle through career," Duncan said in the release.

"We want to hear directly from people in the classroom about how the federal government can support educators, school districts and states to drive education reform. Before crafting education law in Washington, we want to hear from people across America -- parents, teachers and administrators -- about the everyday issues and challenges in our schools that need our national attention and support," he said in the release.

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