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Beth Purvis, Secretary of Education of the State of Illinois, will be a featured speaker during an AAG Annual Meeting panel on K-12 policy. The session will be held on Friday, April 24, from 8:00 – 9:40 a.m. and speakers representing various U.S. Senate and House offices have also been invited. The panel will focus primarily on the possibility of Congressional reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; currently known as No Child Left Behind) in 2015 and related opportunities for geography.

Geography is one of the nine core academic subjects included in the ESEA, but it is the only one of these disciplines that does not receive a dedicated authorization to promote its instruction. The AAG has been working in recent years to promote the importance of K-12 geography as a critical STEM field and as a public need for American students as the world becomes increasingly interconnected. John Wertman, the AAG’s Senior Program Manager for Government Relations, will lead the session.

Purvis, who was appointed this month by new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, previously served as CEO of the Chicago International Charter School. She holds a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.