DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan heads to Michigan Thursday as part of his back-to-school bus tour.

Duncan labeled Detroit as “ground zero” for education reform in 2009 when student test scores hit rock bottom. Now, he’ll be appearing at a Detroit school to talk about the subject.

Duncan said he will stress to students that a high school diploma is no longer enough to make it in the world.

“Four-year universities, two-year community colleges, trade, technical, vocational training, whatever it might be, that has to be the next step on the education journey,” said Duncan. “We’ll be talking about how important it is for every single child to take the school year extraordinarily seriously.”

The summit will take place at the Charles H. Wright Academy of Arts and Science in Detroit, where Duncan will stand along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts, Governor Rick Snyder and State Superintendent Mike Flanagan.

Duncan will also check on progress by Detroit officials in turning around poorly performing schools.

The visit comes as DPS fights to find students. About 20,000 fewer students that projected were absent from the first day of class.

Duncan will also travel to the University of Michigan’s School of Education in Ann Arbor to talk about excellence in classrooms and improving access to college.

Duncan’s bus tour began Wednesday in Pennsylvania and includes stops in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. He’s promoting the work of American educators in preparing American students for futures in a global economy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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