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Secretary Of Education Kicks Off Bus Tour In Park

Central High School National Historic Site

National Park News

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked off his “Courage in the Classroom” bus tour on the historic steps of Little Rock Central High School last Thursday. Duncan was joined by Gov.  Mike Beebe, Sen. Mark Pryor and Arkansas Commissioner of Education Tom Kimbrell. 

Following opening remarks by Pryor, Beebe shared a story about the 50th anniversary commemorative anniversary of the 1957 desegregation crisis at Central High School.  He remarked that while attending a 2007 Governor’s Mansion reception honoring the achievements of the Little Rock Nine (the first nine African-American students to enter Central High School), he noted the palpable irony of honoring them in the exact place where decisions were made to suppress desegregation plans by Gov. Orval Faubus fifty years earlier.

Along with Beebe, Duncan recognized one of the Little Rock Nine in attendance, Minnijean Brown Trickey, for her courage and the impact made on his life.  Drawing upon this idea and practice of courage, Secretary Duncan applauded the teachers in attendance for their “courage in the classroom,” a theme he will honor and discuss throughout the balance of his two week bus tour.  He commended Beebe and Kimbrell for improvements made in the classrooms, challenged Arkansas educators to continue to strive for excellence in education, and to coordinate ways to advance the opportunities for students in the classroom and beyond. 


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