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NBC's "Education Nation" Summit

NBC's "Education Nation" Summit

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Anyone else notice a dearth of classroom teachers and students in this summit?


Panelists include Reed Hastings, Founder & CEO of Netflix; Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public School System of Washington, D.C.; Musician John Legend; Former US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings; and Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers

New York, NY - September 13 - NBC News' "Education Nation" Summit, the Sept. 27-28 centerpiece of the weeklong "Education Nation" initiative that begins Sept. 26 at Rockefeller Plaza, will convene the foremost policymakers, elected officials, thought leaders, educators, members of the business community and engaged citizens in a national discussion about the challenges, potential solutions and innovations spanning today's education landscape. NBC News today announced the agenda of panel topics for the Summit, along with a number of confirmed panelists.

The Summit's 11 panel sessions will present discussions on important topics in education such as: workforce readiness; developing great teachers; technology and innovation; parental involvement; early education; higher education; and the politics of education. The "Education Nation" sessions will be covered on MSNBC and streamed on msnbc.com live and for delayed viewing.

"The state of education in America is facing a number of complex challenges. Many students are falling behind, dropping out and leaving school unprepared for today's jobs in alarming numbers - yet a sense of urgency seems to be lacking," said Steve Capus, President NBC News. "In order to spark and elevate a national dialogue we have convened an impressive 'Education Nation' lineup representing a great diversity of interests and ideas."

"The response we've received from leaders in education has been overwhelmingly positive," said Lisa Gersh, President of Strategic Initiatives at NBC News. "The experts we have convened at 'Education Nation' will highlight some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in education in this country, jumpstarting a national conversation about one of the most pressing issues of our time."

To date, confirmed participating speakers include:

Maria Bartiromo: Anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and Anchor and Managing Editor of "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo"
Michael Bloomberg: Mayor, City of New York
Cory Booker: Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey
Phil Bredesen: Governor, State of Tennessee
Steven Brill: Co-founder of Journalism Online
Tom Brokaw: NBC News Special Correspondent
Geoffrey Canada: CEO & President of Harlem Children's Zone Project
David Coleman: Founder & CEO, Student Achievement Partners; Contributing Author of the Common Core Standards
Ann Curry: News Anchor, "Today" and Anchor, "Dateline NBC"
Arne Duncan: US Secretary of Education
Byron Garrett: CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Allan Golston, President, US Program, The Gates Foundation
Jennifer M. Granholm: Governor, State of Michigan
David Gregory: Moderator, "Meet the Press"
Reed Hastings: Founder & CEO of Netflix
Lester Holt: Anchor, "NBC Nightly News," Weekend Edition and Co-Host, "Today" Weekend Edition
Walter Isaacson: President & CEO of the Aspen Institute
Joel Klein: Chancellor of New York City Schools
Wendy Kopp: CEO and Founder of Teach for America
John Legend: Musician; Founder of the Show Me Campaign
Jack Markell: Governor, State of Delaware
Gregory McGinity: Managing Director of Policy, The Broad Education Foundation
Andrea Mitchell: NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host, "Andrea Mitchell Reports"
Janet Murguia: President & CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Michael Nutter: Mayor, City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bill Pepicello, Ph.D.: President of University of Phoenix
Sally Ride: First Female Astronaut; Vice-chair of Change the Equation
Michelle Rhee: Chancellor, District of Columbia Public School System of Washington, D.C.
Edward Rust: Chairman & CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies
Gwen Samuel, CT delegate to Mom Congress
Barry Schuler: Former CEO of AOL
Sterling Speirn: CEO, Kellogg Foundation
Margaret Spellings: Former US Secretary of Education
Antonio Villaraigosa: Mayor, City of Los Angeles, California
Randi Weingarten: President of American Federation of Teachers (AFT-CLO)
Brian Williams: Anchor and Managing Editor "NBC Nightly News"
Confirmed sessions at "Education Nation" include:

Job One: Preparing America's students to compete in the global economy
The Innovation Gap: Bringing the technology revolution to the schoolhouse
Change Agents: How do we reinvent the status quo at all levels?
The Path to the American Dream: A survey on post-secondary education
Kids Can't Vote: How can the politics of education put students first?
Educating the Digital Generation: What are the roles and responsibilities of media in learning?
Good Apples: How do we keep good teachers, throw out bad ones, and put a new shine on the profession?
A Fresh Start: Leveling the playing field before school begins
Shrinking the Achievement Gap: Is education the civil rights issue of our time?
Study Abroad: What can we learn from the global leaders in education?
The Parent and the Village: Fostering a learning culture in our communities

NBC News' "Education Nation" will launch Sunday, Sept. 26 on "Meet the Press." Additional news coverage and programming airing across all NBC News programs and platforms will extend beyond the two-day Summit. For the entire week of September 27, "Nightly News," "Today," "Your Business," MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, msnbc.com and nbclearn.com will highlight educational success stories, uncover staggering truths and myths about education, and demonstrate how poor education cripples our economy and society.

In addition to the Summit, NBC News will turn Rockefeller Plaza into a "Learning Plaza," which will include a series of galleries open to the public to explore the latest technologies and techniques used in award-winning classrooms nationwide. Interactive elements of "Learning Plaza" include learning style quizzes, video teacher tributes, interactive learning stations, and a "Call to Action" center where visitors can discover ways to take part in improving education. Also open to the public will be an interactive "Teaching Garden," which teaches children about the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness through hands-on participation.

For more information visit EducationNation.com, or follow on twitter @EducationNation or find "Education Nation" on Facebook at Facebook.com/EducationNation

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Joanne Yatvin's picture
Joanne Yatvin
Retired teacher and administrator

Even if NBC didn't want to stoop to getting any "little people" for their show, they could have invited some big names who actually know something about education. For example: Linda Darling Hammond, Monty Neil (of Fairtest), Doug Christenson (former Nebraska state superintendent, Valerie Strauss (from the Washington Post), Yong Zhao.

Cathy McCafferty- Smith's picture

I have worked for intermediate school districts for the last 15 years. I have been working to partner business and education to talk, plan, and connect schools and business to create career development systems. These systems assist students learn the skills needed for post-secondary education (not just college)and for the workplace.(ie, "Middle skills" are on the rise while study after study is showing college level jobs are not increasing at the same level. One of the initiatives that is already partnering workforce development agencies, schools and business in Michigan is the ACT- National Career Readiness Certificate. It is a credential that businesses requested as a common measure for work readiness (to mirror ACT's earlier work for college readiness). I would hope consideration would be given to this common credential for business, schools, and workforce agencies to have a common target to shoot at! For more see http://act.org and search for WorkKeys or the National Career Readiness and also for http://keytrain.com to teach these skills via an online tool called KeyTrain. (Each of these were rated highly in the US Dept of Labor survey recently as some of the best skill building/ career readiness tools).
I hope at some point in the "do" level, that these tools will be mentioned as a way to reach this business requested common target. We are all over the place in these discussion and schools are confused as to what "is" the common target and how do they get there at the "shoe leather" level. In Michigan we have chosen an national target that business has said they wanted as skills for the workplace. Confused and overloaded schools need a laser focus to accomplish what is needed in the midst of many politics.
Cathy McCafferty-Smith

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

What makes you think that Jason? Would you consider that a "major announcement"? Just sayin' :)

[quote]He may be announcing his new teacher recruitment site: http://www.teach.gov/[/quote]

Eric Brunsell's picture
Eric Brunsell
Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

I was just asked on Twitter what I would do. Here are my starting points-

I would:

Start with equitable funding of schools. visit a suburban school then go to an urban. That is the true tragedy shown in "Waiting for Superman."

Treat teachers as creative professionals.

Invest in high quality professional development. Give teachers space for collaborative inquiry of their craft

Tie "tenure" and evaluation to continual professional learning. To keep your job, you must continually strive to improve.

I asked Alfie Kohn last week what he thought about current ed reform. Here is my question & his response. http://www.teachingscience20.com/2010/09/on-ed-reform/

Eric Brunsell's picture
Eric Brunsell
Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

Well, it was the website plus some money. I thought it fell flat. I didn't hear anything new, just providing bribes to get more to teach. Unfortunately, I don't think too many will want to go to high need areas where they will be judged by how good they can prep kids for a test.

[quote]Only thinking that because of this tweet by @TEACHgov: http://twitter.com/TEACHgov/status/254087605343 days til what?

I'm sure the site alone isn't enough to warrant a "big announcement", but I suspect they are connected.[/quote]

Eileen Gale Kugler's picture
Eileen Gale Kugler
Global speaker, author, consultant strengthening diverse schools

There have been some interesting dialogues on critical issues, such as recruiting bright, committed students into education. I do think we need to look for common ground on reforming education, hopefully moving beyond the "with 'em or against 'em" attitude coloring just about any issue in the US right now. That being said, I'm disappointed that the same education experts are being trotted out over and over again by NBC, with key players like Meier and Ladson-Billings nowhere to be seen. OK, Michelle Rhee has some interesting ideas and she is articulate, but the coverage of her is way over the top. And, as a resident of Washington region, I can tell you that the recent Washington mayoral election was NOT just a referendum on her policies with unions unfairly targetting her, as NBC is trying to portray it. (It was more about a young mayor whose arrogance distanced him from his supporters). My biggest disappointment is that the NBC/MSNBC reporters have not done their homework. Their questions are shallow and predictable. Andrea Mitchell is very smart, but her questions to Rhee had no depth.

Gaetan Pappalardo's picture
Gaetan Pappalardo
Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.

No teachers, no solution. It's going to be a very expensive discussion on merit pay, unions keeping the bad teachers, globalization, accountability and how the U.S. ranks in the world. They're going to say that teachers are the heroes, BUT.... The chancellor of New York City schools was on The View today. He commented that education used to employ all of the great women in the country. Now they do something else. Totally offended.

Please, I hope I'm wrong.

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