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U.S. Sec of Education Duncan to visit Detroit on Thursday

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will make an appearance in Detroit this week, just days after a visit from President Obama. It's part of a three-day “Education and the Economy” tour Secretary Duncan is taking through the Midwest.

Detroit Public School officials are eager to show what progress has been made since the Secretary’s visit two years ago. When Duncan visited Detroit in 2009, he called the city “ground zero” for the nation’s education reform efforts. He also said Detroit had a long way to go to turnaround its school system.

Now, Duncan is headed back to Detroit, where he’ll hold a town hall meeting with Governor Rick Snyder, DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and others Thursday morning at the Charles H. Wright Academy of Arts and Science. Two hundred people are expected to attend the invitation-only event.

Steve Wasko, a DPS spokesman, says Duncan's timing is "perfect" because of the changes that have taken place in the district:

"It’s time to somewhat level the dial and make sure the Secretary and his advisors, as well as all those that he’ll be speaking to, have a chance to see the progress that's been put in place."

In a recent phone interview with the Detroit Free Press, Secretary Duncan spoke about some of the progress he's noticed in the Detroit school district:

"I'm more optimistic today about Detroit's future than probably any time in the past two and a half years," Duncan said during a phone interview with the Free Press. "I'm very encouraged by the leadership and the courage that's being shown."

After the town hall event in Detroit, Duncan will travel to Ann Arbor to sit on an education panel at the University of Michigan later that afternoon.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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