Report-Out: Arne Duncan Town Hall

Tue, 11/01/2011 (All day)

Arne DuncanIn a community town hall meeting at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera on Oct. 11, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed arts education, among other issues. 

The purpose of the town hall was to allow parents and community members to ask Secretary Duncan questions and express concerns.

“The event is designated to engage community leaders from across the Los Angeles region in meeting President Barack Obama’s challenge to lead the world in college completion by 2020,” stated the event’s invitation.

The entire high school gym was filled with people sitting on the bleachers, in chairs across the basketball court floor and standing along the entire building.  The Whittier Daily News reports 1,000 students, teachers and parents were in attendance.

A blog from LA Weekly reports that Lydia Grant, a Southern California education activist, invited 200 parents, some who traveled from San Diego, to attend.

Other issues addressed at the town hall meeting were the No Child Left Behind Act, health care in schools, consequences for teachers who verbally abuse students and bilingual education.

Secretary Duncan left after 20 minutes in what was scheduled to be a two-hour meeting with him.  The reason for Duncan’s unexpected early departure, which caused most attendees to flee, is unclear.  


Reporting by Juana Esquivel, Arts for LA Communications Intern