Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 | 2 a.m.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in town Wednesday to promote a wide range of education initiatives, including a new financial aid website, higher academic standards and more collaborative career-technical education.
In the morning, Duncan unveiled a website to 6,000 financial-aid officers attending a conference at Mandalay Bay. The “Financial Aid Toolkit” website was created for high school seniors and their guidance counselors. It serves as a one-stop shop for information and resources related to federal financial aid and loan repayment programs, Duncan said.
After his conference remarks, Duncan toured a fifth-grade classroom at Bracken Elementary School, a “Blue Ribbon” award-winning magnet school, and participated in a panel discussion with 11 local principals. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., accompanied Duncan for part of his visit.
In addition, Duncan visited culinary and automotive classrooms at East Career and Technical Academy. After touring the magnet high school, Duncan participated in a town-hall meeting with community leaders from Las Vegas, encouraging business leaders to get involved in career and technical education.
Later in the evening, Duncan talked about a new federal program called YouthConnect at another convention for career and technical educators. The program 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.