Special Reports

Education Secretary John King's Bus Tour This Year Will be His Last


Education Secretary John King has launched his annual bus tour which kicked off on September 12 and will end up on September 16 in New Orleans. The "Opportunity Across America" tour, which celebrates the progress of education across the nation, will be the final one before King leaves.

King has only taken the helm as Education Secretary in March this year after which Secretary Arne Duncan announced his resignation. King, which served as deputy to Arne that time, was handpicked by Obama to serve as acting Education Secretary.

Assuming position for only such a short time, King has been honest and candid about his report regarding the state of education in the country. He said that under Obama's administration, the highest number of high school graduates has been recorded and many have access to free education in community colleges.
Under the Obama Administration, the Every Student Succeeds Act has been signed. This enabled students to have access to quality education. There's also the Pell grant which makes student loans more manageable. Despite this, he also added that education in America has still a lot of challenges to face.

"There is still 18 percent of kids who aren't graduating from high school in four years. And there are still too many kids graduating from high school without the skills they need for success at the next level," he said.
King's bus tour made its first stop in Bufford Middle School in Virginia where he was greeted by a band. The focus of that "Opportunity Across America" tour is on innovation and computer science. His next stop was Tennessee where he talked about improving access to community colleges and creating more rigorous standards for the K-12 program. He will also encourage educators and tackle leadership and growth as teachers.

After Tennessee, he will proceed to the Limestone Correctional Facility in Alabama and will talk to inmates about education opportunities they can access. In Arkansas, his topic will heavily focus on pre-school education while in Louisiana, he will also touch on the subject how flooding in the area has affected education. He will also talk about how to help those schools who have been struggling.

King hopes that the bus tour will bring more awareness about the things that have been accomplished and the things that still need to be done to maintain the progress that has already been made.

"It's important to me that this trip not to be just about celebrating the progress, but insisting that we have a lot more to do," he said.

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