U.S. Department of Education official speaks April 13 at St. Thomas Patricia Sirek April 6, 2010 James Shelton IIIThe University of St. Thomas will host a free, public lecture by James Shelton III, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement in the U.S. Department of Education.Shelton, who will give the 13th annual Julian Parker Lecture for the university’s School of Education, will speak on “Educational Innovation – Challenges and Opportunities,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, in the auditorium of Schulze Hall on St. Thomas’ campus in downtown Minneapolis. A reception precedes the lecture at 6 p.m.The event is co-sponsored by Target Corp.Shelton manages teacher-quality, school-choice and learning-technology programs for the Department of Education. Previously he served as a program director for the education division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also has worked for NewSchools Venture Fund and co-founded LearnNow, a school-management company. He also has worked as a management and education-business consultant. He has degrees from Morehouse College and Stanford University and lives in Washington, D.C.The UST School of Education’s Julian Parker Lecture Series, dedicated to conversations on issues and values in urban education, is named for the longtime chair of the Education Department and dean of the graduate school at Xavier University in New Orleans. Parker was a national leader on urban education and race relations. In the 1960s, he was instrumental in dealing with issues of race and diversity when he worked at St. Thomas in an exchange program between the nation’s historically black colleges and Minnesota’s private colleges.For further information, contact Dr. Robert Brown, (651) 962-4992. For reservations, email Katy Moore.