Tuesday while the President was delivering his back-to-school speech to students in Arlington, Va., members of the President's cabinet were scattered across the nation. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Madison, Tenn. where he viewed the President's speech with students at Amqui Elementary School. Afterwards, the Secretary had a conversation about the importance of working hard, setting educational goals and taking responsibility for their education.
"Our students have the opportunity to determine their individual futures and in turn the future of our nation and we must inspire them to take responsibility for their learning and support them as they rise to that challenge," Vilsack said. Part of that support, according to Vilsack, is to make sure that no child arrives at school hungry.
In advance of the President's address, the Department of Education provided resources developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion around the importance of education. Amqui Elementary School is one of the top performing schools in Tennessee based on its value-added assessment performance, a state based assessment that measures gains by comparing each student's annual test score increase to his or her year-to-year increases in previous years.