Obama to visit Baltimore County school

President will be at Parkville Middle on Monday

February 11, 2011|By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

President Barack Obama will visit an eighth-grade science classroom at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Baltimore County on Monday before making an announcement about investments in science and math education in his 2012 budget.

Obama called for additional investments to train 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next decade, a goal that he hopes will make the nation more competitive with other countries.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who will be at the event Monday, said in a phone call with reporters Friday that Obama would also begin a new Race to the Top competition for school systems modeled on the one held last year. Maryland was one of 11 states to win $250 million in federal money after promising to enact major education reforms.

"We chose [Parkville] because it is such a good example of the kind of programs and the kinds of schools we think the country should continue to invest in," said Jen Psaki, White House deputy director of communications.

The school focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Obama will see "hands-on learning and critical-thinking" skills that are needed in schools around the country, Duncan said. "To win the future, we have to out-educate our competitors," he said.

Obama will be at the school for about an hour beginning at 10:15 a.m. He is expected to speak with the principal, teachers and students. In the afternoon, the county school system will hold a news conference to talk about the visit.

It is part of a weeklong series of trips by Obama and senior staff to different parts of the country that are designed to highlight education as one of his budget priorities. Vice President Joe Biden will visit an elementary school in Georgia.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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