Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 | 2:20 p.m.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will promote college affordability and higher academic standards during a visit to two Las Vegas Valley schools Wednesday.
Duncan is scheduled to speak at two education conferences, one for financial aid professionals and the other for career and technical educators, in Las Vegas while he is in town.
At the Federal Student Aid Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals meeting in the morning, Duncan will discuss President Barack Obama’s efforts to address rising college costs, including creating a new college rating system that would rank universities on best value and academics. Later in the evening, Duncan will speak at the Association for Career and Technical Education conference about the president’s initiatives to encourage more high school students to enter high-tech fields.
In the afternoon, the education secretary is scheduled to visit two local magnet schools: Bracken Elementary School and East Career and Technical Academy.
At Bracken — a “Blue Ribbon” school focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math — Duncan will meet district leaders, teachers and students and participate in a roundtable discussion with Clark County principals on the transition to the Common Core State Standards, which are a more rigorous set of academic standards outlined for students at every grade level.
At East CTA, Duncan will tour the school and speak about the federal Youth CareerConnect program, which will help high schools across the country partner with employers to prepare students for 21st-century careers.
Duncan last visited Las Vegas in November 2011, when he participated in an education town hall discussion with community leaders.