U.S. Secretary of Education Visits Utah

U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan watches a student work a math problem at Northwest Middle School.

U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan watches a student work a math problem at Northwest Middle School.

U.S. Secretary of Education Visits Lake City Middle School

United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Northwest Middle School Thursday. Duncan was joined by State Supt. Martell Menlove, Salt Lake City Superintendent McKell Withers, Northwest Principal Brian Conley, students, parents and teachers for a discussion on the school’s educational progress since it received a $2.3 million federal School Improvement grant in 2010.

More than 90 percent of the students at Northwest are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and 87 percent of them are minority students. In the three years of the grant the school has seen math proficiency rise from 37 percent of students to 79 percent and science proficiency grow from 38 to 58 percent.

Duncan called Northwest a remarkable success story. “The success of this school, I honestly believe, has national implications.”
The visit was part of the secretary’s Partners in Progress tour, an effort to see what is working and not working in schools across the country.

He said the way he learns is not by sitting in his office in Washington but by “talking to real educators, students and parents and trying get honest feedback from them in terms of on how to be a good partner.”

“The hard work is always going to be done, not by me or folks in Washington, but by the local educators and local community across the country. And we want to support them in that effort.”

Because the grant is no longer available, Duncan said he wants to see how schools like Northwest, can sustain the momentum and continue to make progress.

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