PORTLAND — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised Maine schools in general and King Middle School in particular when he concluded an eight-state bus tour this afternoon that recognized teachers and others who are leading the way in improving education.

“This school and this state’s reputation is known nationally,” Duncan told about 75 Maine dignitaries, teachers, administrators and students gathered in King’s library.

King has received national recognition for its success in using the Expeditionary Learning model, in which students work on multidisciplinary projects that address community issues.

In addition, King Principal Mike McCarthy is Maine’s 2010 Middle Level Principal of the Year and is a finalist for the 2011 National Middle Level Principal of the Year award.

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