U.S. Education official visits Detroit Public Schools

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

Julie Ewart
U.S. Department of Education
(312) 730-1703

U.S. Department of Education’s Peter Cunningham, assistant secretary of communications and outreach, came to Detroit Public Schools Friday January 21 to learn about promising initiatives and interact with teachers, students and administrators.

He was accompanied by DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb and Ann Arbor teacher Tracey Van Dusen, one of 10 teachers throughout the U.S. selected by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve part-time in the 2010-2011 Teaching Ambassador Fellowship Program, designed to enable outstanding teachers to participate in the national dialogue about education.

Cunningham and Van Dusen visited elementary and high school reading, math and science classes at Burton Elementary School and Western International High School. The schools showcased academic improvements under the district’s five-year academic plan, including 120 minutes daily of reading and math in grades K-8 and double doses of math and English at the
high school level.

Western International High School is in the midst of a turnaround, as one of 34 Detroit Public Schools that recently received approval from the Michigan Department of Education for its redesign plan, to be funded through a federal School Improvement Grant.

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