Getting a Strong Start in New Mexico

Last month we announced the Strong Start, Bright Future annual back-to-school bus tour and today we’re happy to announce the details of the tour’s first two days. Drum roll please!

Santa Fe

Strong Start LogoOn Monday, September 9, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will kick things off at the Santa Fe Children’s Project Early Learning Center with classroom visits and a town hall on the importance of quality early learning programs.


Following the town hall, the bus will roll south through the “Land of Enchantment” for classroom visits and a roundtable discussion with district and labor leaders, teachers, parents and students at Emerson Elementary in Albuquerque. The focus at Emerson will be their turnaround efforts and Duncan will discuss the Department’s School Improvement Program.


The back-to-school bus will continue to the Rio Grande Valley Monday afternoon for a classroom discussion with teachers at Midway Elementary School in Polvadera, N.M., north of Socorro. Duncan will discuss digital learning and hold a community meeting on rural education at the school.

Day Two

El Paso

Day two of the Strong Start, Bright Future tour will get its start at the El Paso Transmountain Early College High School (Home of the Mavericks!) in El Paso, Texas, where Secretary Duncan will join a town hall on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The high school is located adjacent to El Paso Community College and by the time students graduate from high school, they’re already earning college credits. This is the type of great collaboration the Department of Education is calling for in its high school redesign initiative.


On Tuesday afternoon, the bus will cruise back into New Mexico and make a stop at Columbus Elementary School where Duncan and Department officials will listen to teachers talk about the challenges of teaching a diverse student population.

Following Columbus the bus keeps moving, and in the coming days we’ll provide details of our stops in Arizona and California.

For now, stay up to date by following the Strong Start, Bright Future tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour13, visit our bus tour page at and subscribe to Strong Start, Bright Future email updates.

 Cameron Brenchley is director of digital strategy at the U.S. Department of Education


  1. Are you secretly setting teachers and public schools up for failure so that you can dismantle public education and create more for profit charter schools? Its the only reason I can think of for the insanity that is now public education. The only ones happy with the state of public education now are the testing companies. While I have no issue with Common Core, I do take issue with all of the testing, and the new teacher evaluations in which 50% will be tied to test scores. I teach on the Navajo reservation and each year over 80% of my students score proficient. I work hard to ensure they get a quality education and they meet standards. However, this year with three SCA’s, two end of course assessments to use for evaluation, and the SBS, I wonder when I will have time to teach. Due to budget cuts, I have 28-35 students per class. I am in my 24th year of teaching, and I have seen policy come and go, but it has never been as crazy as it is now. You and your reforming buddies like Michelle Rhee are ruining public education. I was so excited when President Obama became president because I thought some common sense would come back into education, but it hasn’t happened, and under your control, it won’t. One last thought, where will you find teachers to replace all of the so called ineffective ones packing the classrooms, the ones who will not make the grade on their evaluations, not because of bad teaching, but because of bad assessments? Why would anyone want to enter this insanity?

  2. Hello,
    My name is Ben Cantu a and I am the gear up facilitator for Brooks County ISD in Fafurrias TX 78355. I was reviewing the dates of the tour and noticed El Paso is the closest city in Texas. Fafurrias is located in south Texas about 70miles south of Corpus Christi TX. We are district with a considerable amount of economically disadvantaged families who feel they cannot afford to send their children to college because of their economic situation. I know we are out of your way but was wondering if you could send me the message you are spreading across the nation or come down and visit us. Thank you so much for your time and all u do for our students.

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