WASHINGTON (February 22, 2011) – Students from high schools and middle schools across the country will travel to Washington this weekend to join administration officials and education policy leaders for the U.S. Department of Education's "Voices in Action: National Youth Summit," taking place at Howard University on Saturday, Feb. 26. The summit will convene nearly 400 students, administration officials and education policy leaders in workshops and breakout sessions to identify what schools and communities need to best prepare students for college and career. The event will take place in Cramton Auditorium, 2455 Sixth Street, NW.
President Obama has set a national goal to once again lead the world in college completion by 2020. Over the next decade, more than half of new jobs will require more than a high school degree. The Obama administration's education agenda has made significant investments in K-12 reform and increased college access to better prepare our students
to graduate high school, complete college and compete in the knowledge-based, global economy.
"When students go on to college or career, they're competing with students in China, India and all over the world," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "In order to best prepare students, we need to know that we're making every effort to meet their needs in achieving a
world-class education. The National Youth Summit brings together students who have taken responsibility for their education, acted as leaders in their schools and communities, and who can provide the best insight and feedback on what they need to be successful in the future."
From July to November, the U.S. Department of Education convened a National Youth Listening Tour to discuss our work directly with students and learn more about how we can support education reform in states, districts, schools, and communities. Throughout the tour, the Department met with over 40 youth-serving institutions and connected with more than 1,800 middle and high school youth in 13 cities. The tour engaged students in discussions on the challenges they face and asked them to present possible solutions to help communities, families and schools
reach the president's 2020 goal .
Voices in Action: National Youth Summit offers participating youth the opportunity to communicate to policymakers key themes raised during the tour and provides them the chance to learn more about the Department's efforts to improve America's schools. The summit is organized around the
tour's five most common themes: effective teaching, college information gaps, parental involvement, community mentors and school climate and discipline.
The daylong event will also include workshops as well as music and entertainment from participating youth and youth organizations. Adobe Youth Voices, a global initiative of the Adobe Foundation that empowers youth through technology and media, will kick-off the summit with a student-produced song, entitled "2020 Vision," that shows what communities, families and schools can do to help youth be more
successful in school. Additional entertainment includes a poetry slam by Guerilla Arts Ink Entertainment along with performances by DJ Priest and
An agenda and other resources on the Voices in Action: National Youth Summit are available at
http://www.ed.gov/college-completion/youth-summit. Media interested in attending should contact Kerry-Ann Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org