U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan To Bring 5th Annual Back-To-School Bus Tour To Alabama And Tennessee

Friday, September 5, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will bring his fifth annual back-to-school bus tour to Alabama and Tennessee on Tuesday, where he will visit Birmingham, Huntsville and Chattanooga.  Mr. Duncan will discuss President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in Birmingham and then highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Huntsville. In Chattanooga he will spotlight the importance of high-quality early learning opportunities in young children’s educational development. 

This year’s “Partners in Progress” trip will also include stops in Georgia, highlighting the three states' commitment to encourage reform and innovation in education and help all students achieve success. Traveling through places that represent the cradle of America’s civil rights effort, the tour places a focus on important work that is closing gaps of opportunity many young Americans face.

At 9:10 a.m. CT, Mr. Duncan will participate with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, young men and women from local high schools and community members in a My Brother’s Keeper Roundtable Discussion at John Herbert Phillips Academy in Birmingham.  Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education will moderate the discussion and a press availability will follow at 10:20 a.m. CT.

Next, Mr. Duncan will visit the NASA Davidson Rocket Center in Huntsville, at 12:50 p.m. CT, for a Space Camp tour and a STEM Education Town Hall at 1:20 p.m. CT.  The town hall panelists will include NASA Astronaut and Educator Richard “Ricky” Arnold and students. A press availability will follow at 2:20 p.m. CT.

Then Mr. Duncan will head to Chattanooga, for a 5:40 p.m. event at the Chambliss Center for Children, where he will visit the classroom of pre-kindergarten teacher Keisha Fifer and read a book to about a dozen three-year-olds. 

Afterward, he will host an “Early Learning Town Hall” in the center’s gymnasium, exchanging ideas with about 100 parents, teachers and stakeholders on what works in effective early learning programs. Among those in attendance will be Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke; Phil Acord, president and CEO of the Chambliss Center; Melanie Morris, a teacher in the Hamilton County Schools and others.  Following the town hall, Mr. Duncan will hold a press availability at 7 p.m. ET.

These events will conclude the second day of the 2014 bus tour, which begins Monday in Atlanta and moves through Alabama and on to Tennessee on Wednesday.  He will conclude the tour in Tennessee with activities in Nashville and Memphis.

As part of the "Partners in Progress" tour, senior department officials will hold additional events highlighting the Obama administration's work to increase access and opportunity for students.

Preceding Secretary Duncan’s visit on Monday, at 3:30 p.m. CT, David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will visit Memphis, Tennessee for a rally and panel discussion at Shelby County Schools Frances E. Coe Auditorium.  Joining Johns will be Teach For America; Memphis Urban League; NAACP; 100 Black Men of Memphis; Memphis Talent Dividend; Stand for Children – Memphis; and Shelby County Schools. 

The rally will include remarks from David Johns, Shelby County Board of Education Chairman Kevin Woods, and other local leaders, as well as student performances. The panel discussion will focus on the role of community engagement in education, moderated by Cardell Orrin, Stand for Children – Memphis city director.

Also on Monday, Libby Doggett, deputy assistant secretary of education for policy and early learning, will join a roundtable discussion on pre-kindergarten education at 5 p.m. ET at the Normal Park Museum Magnet School - Lower School Campus in Chattanooga.  At 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, she will visit the Siskin Children's Institute, followed by an 11 a.m. tour of the Creative Discovery Museum, both in Chattanooga.  At 2 p.m., she will participate in an early learning roundtable at the Chambliss Center.

Meanwhile, Johan E. Uvin, acting assistant secretary in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, will visit the Volkswagen Academy at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Ooltewah.  At 12:30 p.m. ET, he will tour the Chattanooga State Technical Community College’s Wacker Institute and at 9 a.m. Wednesday, he will visit Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tennessee.

In addition, Jill Levine, principal at Normal Park Museum Magnet School in Chattanooga and a U.S. Department of Education principal ambassador fellow, will participate in a teacher leadership roundtable at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Public Education Foundation in Chattanooga.


Lee University To Welcome Trip Lee In Chapel

Lee University will welcome back Trip Lee, Christian rapper and pastor, in chapel on Tuesday, March 28, at 10:40 a.m. After delivering a powerful message in 2016, Mr. Lee will return to the Conn Center for this special morning service.  Born William Lee Barefield III, Mr. Lee began his career in the music industry early on. He has released five albums and authored two books. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State To Host Student Research Symposium On April 27

Chattanooga State is hosting a Student Research Symposium to showcase students’ research of issues within their professional careers and community involvement.   All community members are invited to come and support students and their work.   Students’ presentations are grounded in academic coursework and tied to their career or professional goals. Working with faculty, ... (click for more)

Pet Dog Dies In Trailer Fire Near Signal Mountain Road

A pet dog died in a trailer fire off Signal Mountain Road on Wednesday night.   Chattanooga firefighters responded to a structure fire around  9:30 p.m.  in a mobile home park at 174 Bledsoe Terrace. The woman who lived there told Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton that she had just left for work when the fire was discovered. The firefighters got the ... (click for more)

Fingerprint Evidence Leads To Arrest Of Antonio Patton Is Armed Robbery Of Store On Bonny Oaks Drive

Fingerprint evidence has led to the arrest of Antonio Preze Patton for the robbery of a store on Bonny Oaks Drive last Dec. 2. Patton, 27, of 2829 5th Ave., is charged with aggravated robbery. Police were notified of the late-night holdup at the Mystik Mart. The clerk said two black males entered the store with their heads covered with hoodies. They appeared to be looking ... (click for more)

Repeal Obamacare, Congressman Fleischmann - And Response (2)

Chuck: I'm writing to express my strong opposition to the plan that is being rolled out by Paul Ryan to replace Obamacare. And as I'm writing this, I'm remembering all the times you and all of your Republican colleagues over the last six years campaigned on REPEALING  Obamacare and used that call to action as the basis for your reelection. And I'm also remembering the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: You, The Bald-Headed Lady

You were wearing a pretty sweat shirt and blue jeans when I saw you outside the Infusion Center at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday. You were the one who was nearly bald and I was the guy you greeted with a huge smile as we said hello in passing. You reminded me exactly of my brother Franklin. Years ago when chemotherapy began to rob him of his hair, Franklin was pretty devastated ... (click for more)