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U.S. Secretary of Education Stops in to Visit F.C.’s George Mason H.S.

img_2074Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, made a quick stopover at Falls Church’s George Mason High School as students were arriving for classes before 8 a.m. today, meeting Mason’s Principal Tyrone Byrd, Falls Church School Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin and Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner while negotiating the hallways around students hurrying to classes, and stopping in briefly at three classrooms to greet teachers and students. The gesture was in recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Duncan told one class that a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers will be retiring soon, creating an enormous need. He also cited an “income based repayment” plan whereby college graduates who go into teaching will be forgiven their student loans upon their 10th year of teaching.

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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits a George Mason High School classroom this morning. (Photo: News-Press)

Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, made a quick stopover at Falls Church’s George Mason High School as students were arriving for classes before 8 a.m. today, meeting Mason’s Principal Tyrone Byrd, Falls Church School Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin and Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner while negotiating the hallways around students hurrying to classes, and stopping in briefly at three classrooms to greet teachers and students. The gesture was in recognition of National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Duncan told one class that a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers will be retiring soon, creating an enormous need. He also cited an “income based repayment” plan whereby college graduates who go into teaching will be forgiven their student loans upon their 10th year of teaching.

Asked by the News-Press about the controversial “pay to play” programs being introduced into the Falls Church and Fairfax County school systems this fall, requiring students to pay for participation in after-school sports and for taking special exams, Duncan said that “students should have full access to these programs,” saying in response to the report that the Fairfax Board of Supervisors is at odds with the county’s school board on this policy, “Adults can figure out how to work that out.”