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To kick off the back-to-school season, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will embark on a three-day bus tour, Sept. 19-21. It will begin in Cleveland, where she will visit several local schools along with the city's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From there, she will travel to Dayton, Ohio, and Cincinnati before completing her tour in Indianapolis. In addition to school visits, the secretary will attend business roundtables as well as events for military families at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Among her travels this summer was a visit in July to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in Fairfax, Va., a five-day seminar designed to help third- through fifth-grade teachers from across the country motivate their students to pursue careers in math and science. While receiving putting lessons from professional golfer Phil Mickelson (with whom she and his wife Amy are photographed above), the secretary spoke with educators about the critical need for advanced skills in today's global economy.

In June, Secretary Spellings delivered remarks at her regional higher education summit in Boston. It was the fourth of five regional higher education summits the U.S. Department of Education held nationwide to discuss the secretary's Higher Education Act reauthorization priorities as well as the importance of access, affordability and accountability in higher education.

"Our country's investment in higher education has yielded a tremendous return. Our colleges and universities have given generations of citizens the ability to pursue the American Dream and have long been the envy of the world," she said. "But recent data show we're in danger of losing that position. ...

"By age 24, 75 percent of students from the top income bracket have earned a degree. At the same age, less than nine percent of low-income students have earned one. ...

"Whether you're a business leader who needs talented workers, a state who needs an educated workforce, a parent who needs to figure out how you're going to pay for college, or a student who needs an education ... each and every one of you has a role to play in maintaining the strength of our colleges and universities."
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Title Annotation:Margaret Spellings
Publication:The Achiever
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:354
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