Top 5 Highlights from Education Drives America Tour

After more than 100 events in 48 communities in 12 states, the Education Drives America bus tour came to a close last Friday at the Department’s plaza in Washington. Secretary Duncan wraps up the tour in the video below, and we’ve put together our top five highlights from the road.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

 Top 5 Highlights (in no order of importance): 

Public-Private Partnerships Image

Deputy Secretary Tony Miller stopped at Continental Tire North America in Mt. Vernon, Ill., to discuss Continental’s successful partnership with Rend Lake College. During many of our stops we witnessed how communities are coming together for the benefit of students of all ages—and for their local economies. 

Outstanding Teachers Image

The Education Drives America tour brought top Education officials right into the classrooms of teachers across the country. With town halls, meet-and-greets and more than 50 roundtable discussions with teachers, we were reminded once again that teachers are truly nation-builders. At Emporia State University in Kansas, Secretary Duncan and National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel visited the National Teacher Hall of Fame and held a town hall with future educators. 

Shooting Hoops Image

It’s no secret that Secretary Duncan is partial to basketball, and there were plenty of opportunities to shoot hoops during the tour. In Denver and Richmond, Va., Duncan spoke of the importance of keeping active while highlighting the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Duncan also signs an official Department of Education basketball for each school he visits. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Student Voice Image

Nothing is a better reminder of why we come to work each day than meeting and listening to students. Students were part of our roundtables, town halls and classroom visits, and student bands, dance groups and choirs enlivened events all along the route. 

Education Drives America image

With more than 100 events during the Department’s Education Drives America back-to-school tour, we are more convinced than ever that education really does power our country, and that investing in students and educators is essential to a strong and prosperous nation. Here’s to a great school year for everyone!

Read about the entire tour by visiting

Cameron Brenchley is director of digital engagement and blogged and tweeted his way from coast to coast during ED’s annual back-to-school bus tour.