Articles tagged with Education Nation

NSBA president queries Romney on role of school boards

C. Ed Massey, president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), queried GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney this morning during a session at NBC’s Education Nation Summit.

C. Ed Massey

Massey asked for details about the candidate’s views on local school boards and parental involvement. Romney spent much of the session speaking about the need for parental involvement.

Romney used the question to further promote his beliefs that education begins at home and parents should be heavily involved in their child’s education. Romney has proposed a plan that would give students from low-income families or students who receive special education services—about 50 percent of all public school students, he estimates—access to the average per-pupil amount of federal funds under Title I or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to use at any school that best meets their educational needs. Currently the funds are given to states to distribute to local school districts by formulas based on need.

After the session, Massey said he was pleased with the opportunity to meet Romney and be able “to make sure he knew that school board governance was the critical factor in meeting the needs of the local community.”

“What I liked about [Romney’s remarks] was he did recognize the importance of parental involvement,” Massey said. “What he didn’t say much about was how that’s correlated through school boards.”

Massey and NSBA Executive Director Anne L. Bryant are attending the event, held Sept. 23 to 25 in New York City. Watch the video (Massey appears at position 32:06) or read a transcript of the exchange:

MASSEY: Good morning. Ed Massey from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I serve as president of the National School Boards Association and sit on the National PTA board, as well. And I want to know a little more in detail how you view local school boards and parental involvement in the process of educational reform.

ROMNEY: Well, we have great organizations that represent the teachers. We have great organizations that represent the parents. But I’d like to see them have more clout. I’d like to see parents very much involved in evaluating the success of schools. If we had a more transparent system for evaluating the success of a school A through F, I think schools ought to have report cards the way they do in Florida. And if we had that, then if parents saw their school get a C or D or worse, those parents are going to be outraged. And they’ll want to gather together, become part of PTA organizations and talk about taking back the school. We can’t say and you have choice to go somewhere else. That’s a good thing to have that choice, but we also have to fix the school itself and parents are oftentimes going to be the impetus, the energy behind real change which must occur in a lot of our local school districts. I imagine you found the same thing. Is that right?

ED: I have. And sitting on a local school board for 16 years, I’ve found that the community engagement is so powerful, if you have parents in schools and you’ve engaged your community, the school will be successful. Regardless of the circumstances. That’s what I’ve found.

ROMNEY: That reminds me about the point about the Boston teachers who said if the parents show up at parent/teacher night, the kid will do just fine. And that just underscores the impact of parents. The idea that somehow schools are entirely separate from the home, from the economic circumstances of the home, from the social experiences of the home that’s just not reality. The home is an integral part of the education system and the best teachers in the world can’t possibly overcome a home pulling in the different direction. That’s why I propose in my state that the parents had to go to a training program to learn about the impact of education. I wasn’t able to get it done. It’s something I wanted to do and something that has merit. We have to pull the parents into education because they are an essential part of the education experience of their child.

ED: Thank you, governor.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|September 25th, 2012|Categories: 2012 Presidential race, Leadership, School Board News, School Boards, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |

NBC releases details about 2012 Education Nation events

National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Anne L. Bryant and NSBA President C. Ed Massey will participate in the 2012 Education Nation National Summit in New York City next week. The annual event gathers more than 300 representatives from education, government, business, philanthropy and media to discuss issues in the field, and NBC is featuring numerous segments on education on its news broadcasts to coincide with the event.

The event will take place from Sept. 23 to 25 and will be web streamed live at www.educationnation.com. The agenda features a Teacher Town Hall, Student Town Hall, and the premiere of Won’t Back Down with a discussion before the movie. According to NBC News, the event “seeks to create a thoughtful, well-informed dialogue with policymakers, thought-leaders, educators, parents and the public, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to achieve the best education in the world.”

NSBA encourages school board members to participate in conversations about education through NBC’s Facebook page and on Twitter @educationnation and share how school board leadership is making a difference in our public schools.

NBC notes that “Using the wide reach of the NBC News broadcast, and cable, and digital platforms, the 2012 Education Nation Summit will focus on successful examples of innovation in education.  Summit sessions, moderated by top NBC News journalists, and NBC’s on-air programming will highlight a series of case studies from communities across the country, providing tools, and takeaways for participants and viewers.”  Local NBC affiliates also may develop segments on education issues for their local news broadcasts.

On Tuesday morning, there will be “DECISION 2012 at Education Nation” with President Barack Obama sharing his vision for the nation’s education future in a taped interview. GOP presidential nominee Governor Mitt Romney will be attending Education Nation and sharing his vision for the nation’s education future as well as answering questions from Education Nation Summit attendees.

Additional interviews and sessions during the summit include:

  • Interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Interview with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro
  • Addressing the skills gap: how stronger skills and higher levels of education can power America’s next great economic surge.
  • Higher education quality and accessibility
  • Blended learning, technology, and charter schools featuring former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida
  • One-on-one conversation with General Colin Powell
  • College/career readiness, business engagement, and turnaround schools with Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association and other panelists
  • Discussion on the education and skills with Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, and Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina
  • Early childhood education and parent engagement
  • Wraparound services
  • Discussion of “solutions-driven unionism,” and what that could mean for the future of education, and the challenges ahead with Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers
  • CEO discussion on how the top business visionaries are addressing our education challenges (college and career readiness, and career academies)

For more information and the agenda, read the press release about Summit and schedule details.

Additionally, NBC is promoting that this year’s Education Nation Summit “will highlight 10 case studies of schools and programs from around the country that have implemented focused solutions in their communities, and have seen demonstrable success as a result. Accompanying each example will be a robust digital toolkit with details on each program’s history, how it works and is funded, and its results. Case studies will be incorporated into the Summit program, as well as featured on-air across NBC News, and available for viewing and download at www.educationnation.com  beginning Monday, Sept. 24.”

 

 

Alexis Rice|September 21st, 2012|Categories: Curriculum, Educational Technology, High Schools, Mayoral Control, Online learning, School Reform, Student Achievement, Teachers|Tags: , |

Analysis: NBC learned its lesson with this Education Nation

Glenn Cook, American School Board Journal’s editor-in-chief, attended NBC’s Education Nation summit in New York for the second straight year. Here are his observations.

You can’t blame traditional public school advocates if they were filled with dread when NBC announced that Education Nation would return this fall. Last year the network bought into the hype surrounding the documentary “Waiting for Superman,” inexplicably tying the event to a flawed film that exhorted charters as the pancea for public education’s ills.

Thankfully, NBC has learned its lesson. This year’s event took pains to correct past wrongs as it recognized the complexities school leaders face in managing a public system that is open to all.

Starting with a screening of “American Teacher,” a documentary that helped erase some of the “bad teachers” taste left by “Superman,” and ending with an appearance by former President Bill Clinton, Education Nation featured a strong balance of heavy hitters from education, philanthropy, and politics.

You also had a touch of celebrity — basketball player Lebron James, actress Jennifer Garner, and what amounted to a family reunion with former Gov. Jeb Bush and First Lady Laura Bush participating in sessions — but in this case, it fit the overall tone.

The key word here is balance. Last year’s programming was flawed because it exhorted simple antidotes to complex problems. This year, silver bullets were nowhere to be found, but calls for more effective teaching and improvements to early education were.

You can watch many of the sessions online at www.educationnation.com, but here is my list of highlights:

• Start with “Brain Power: Why Early Learning Matters,” a fascinating hour-long session featuring Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, and three university professors. Held on Monday morning, it was the best, most concise presentation I’ve seen yet on why we need to reach children much, much earlier than we do.

• The dramatic rise in poverty rates was a focus throughout, especially in the session “What’s in a Zip Code?” moderated by Brian Williams. Poverty is reality for many people in today’s economy — Clinton was eloquent on this topic in the closing session — and communities must come together to do more.

• Education Secretary Arne Duncan was everywhere this year, participating in interviews with Tom Brokaw and responding to questions during various panels (a nice touch).

• We saw an entertaining back and forth between Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone and Diane Ravitch, author and professor of education at New York University. Their approaches are so different, but both made excellent points. Canada and Sal Khan, another Education Nation speaker, are scheduled to keynote NSBA’s 2012 Annual Conference.

• Teacher and student accountability, as you might expect, was a recurring theme. Michelle Shearer, the current National Teacher of the Year from Maryland’s Urbana High School, said teachers “want to be evaluated on things that really matter.”

“There are all sorts of different ways of looking at student growth,” she said. “Whatever evaluation looks like in the end, it has to be a system of multiple measures, because often what’s most important are those intangibles … that are tough to put on a check list.”

• At the same session, Khaatim El, a former member of the Atlanta school board, addressed the cheating scandal that has plagued the district he served for almost a decade. “We wanted to be the hype,” he said of the allegations, which are based on the state assessments. “We wanted to be the first to get it right so bad.”

But El noted the district also made huge gains in NAEP scores during that time, an achievement untouched but overshadowed by the scandal. “I would be remiss if I didn’t point to the hard work that many educators put in,” he said. “We focused on the basics. Literacy instruction in elementary school. Autonomy for principals. We invested in professional development. Those things were overshadowed by the cheating scandal. And they were good things for kids.”

The setting for Education Nation was not perfect — the big tent in Rockefeller Plaza is a good idea in theory, but the humidity and poor audio were ever-present distractions. And while this year’s session was far more substantive, future years should stop belaboring the problems and focus instead on how to solve them. Panels featuring districts that have been successful at “what works,” with ideas and content that are easily imitated and replicated, would be a valuable start.

Chances are good that will happen. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) had a strong presence in the planning and execution of the meeting. Anne L. Bryant, our executive director, met with NBC officials about the content and answered audience questions in a video Q&A format prior to the event. Mary Broderick, NSBA’s president, was featured in a panel session with the mayors of Albuquerque, Baltimore, and Newark.

“What we’ve heard from the last two days of this conference is that we need to come together around a sense of urgency,” Broderick said during her session, noting that it takes a shared vision between the school board, the mayor’s office, and the community. “The vision needs to be of excellence. If that cohesive message can be carried through our schools … there’s nothing off the table.”

Watch NSBA’s President on Education Nation today

Update: The video for “Going Local: What A City Can Do For Its Schools,” is now archived at educationnation.com.

This week, NBC News is hosting its second annual Education Nation Week and Summit. NBC News is promoting the 2011 Education Nation as a way to, “address the developments, challenges, and progress of the past year, as well as identify and explore new, exciting opportunities to reinvent America as an Education Nation.”

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) President Mary Broderick and Executive Director Anne L. Bryant are representing NSBA at the Education Nation Summit. Broderick will be on the Education Nation panel, “Going Local: What A City Can Do For Its Schools,” scheduled for today, September 27 from 1 – 2 pm EDT. Broderick will be joined by mayors and community leaders to discuss how they’re addressing education.

NBC News’ Lester Holt will moderate this session. The Twitter hashtag for this session is #LocalEdNat.

Mary will be a panelist in the second part of the session with:

  • Mayor Richard Berry of Albuquerque
  • Mayor Cory Booker of Newark
  • Mayor Angel Taveras of Providence

The first part of the session will feature:

  • Michael Brown, CEO & Co-Founder of City Year, Inc
  • Marguerite Kondracke, President and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance
  • Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia
  • Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore

 

The session is scheduled to be live web streamed on the South Stage feed.
View it here:

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Additionally, during Education Nation, Bryant will serve an education expert on EducationNation.com.  Bryant will be answering users’ questions. To ask her a question or to view questions Bryant has already answered, go to the Ask an Expert page .

Alexis Rice|September 27th, 2011|Categories: 21st Century Skills, Announcements, Board governance, Key Work of School Boards, School Board News, School Boards, Student Achievement, Teachers|Tags: , , , , |

NSBA featured on Education Nation’s “Ask an Expert”

The National School Boards Association’s Executive Director, Anne L. Bryant, is this week’s “Ask an Expert” on NBC’s Education Nation. You can ask Bryant a question or view questions she has answered.

“Ask-an-Expert” series is an ongoing initiative of Education Nation to bring questions to some of the leading experts in educational issues.

Alexis Rice|September 8th, 2011|Categories: NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Boards|Tags: |

NBC’s stab at public education often aimed at unions, and no one else

After what seemed like an excruciatingly long week, NBC’s much-anticipated “Education Nation” summit is over. Coupled with the release of the much-hyped “Waiting for Superman” documentary, public education—and particularly teachers–have been under intense, and sometimes unfair, scrutiny.

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Teachers unions are under the gun (particularly the American Federation of Teachers, which is smaller but represents employees in more cities than the National Education Association) and many times it seemed AFT leader Randi Weingarten was constantly engaged in a back-and-forth with D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

No doubt it is time to have a serious conversation about tenure and contracts (and the pension system). But we can’t ignore recruitment as well—even as many school districts are laying off teachers, long-term data show that many experienced teachers are getting ready to retire.
(more…)

Naomi Dillon|October 4th, 2010|Categories: American School Board Journal, Governance, Policy Formation, Student Achievement, Teachers|Tags: , , |

ASBJ editor’s review: “Waiting for Superman” oversimplifies education reform

So was it worth the wait?

The highly anticipated documentary “Waiting for Superman” opened today in New York and Los Angeles, boosted by unanimous raves, an hour-long Oprah special, and buzz by film critics nationwide. Davis Guggenheim’s new film, which rolls out nationwide in October, also is expected to get another bump from NBC’s “Education Nation” summit next week.

The theater was almost full at a 10:55 a.m. showing in one of the two New York theatres playing the film, and the 7:30 p.m. showing already was sold out at the Lowes Lincoln Square 13. Interest was so high, in fact, that a second theater was added during the early showing.

From an entertainment standpoint, and thanks to an almost unparalleled marketing campaign, Guggenheim has ramped up the debate about our nation’s public schools in a way that the best films do. He hitches the narrative to sympathetic, interesting characters and draws them into a sort of good vs. evil battle with the highest stakes of all — the education of our children. But in doing so, he also misses the mark.

By casting teachers, and more specifically, teachers unions as the film’s villains, Guggenheim goes for an easy target. Examples of school boards and traditional administrators are shown in films made in the 1950s and ’60s. And while the brush is not quite broad enough to paint charter schools as the be-all, end-all for public education — only 17 percent of charters perform significantly better than their traditional public counterparts — the only success stories shown in the film are charters.

Guggenheim’s case is boosted by five adorable children — all with loving, sincere parents who are seeking admission to high-performing charter schools via a lottery. Innovative, charismatic reformers — Geoffrey Canada, who provides the source of the title, and Michelle Rhee, the controversial Washington, D.C., chancellor — are without question upheld as the heroes.

You can’t help but feel for these families as the lottery balls drop, and knowing the outcome in advance — I won’t spoil it for you here, but needless to say it’s not a fairy tale — makes the inevitable ending all the more heartbreaking.

As the credits roll, Guggenheim notes that, “The problem is complex but the steps are simple.” And that’s my biggest beef with his movie. By failing to properly outline the complexities found in our public schools, he also has done a disservice to viewers who are being called into action. In the end, nuance is all but lost in the interest of drama.

Given the publicity tsunami behind “Waiting for Superman,” you can’t help but wonder whether it will resonate with the vast populace. A $40 million gross for a documentary is considered huge, compared to the $100 million that fictional films must make to be considered as blockbusters.

If anything, one hopes that all of the coordinated publicity around public education will result in some significant conversations about what can be done to improve our nation’s schools.

-Glenn Cook, Editor-in-Chief, American School Board Journal

Joetta Sack-Min|September 25th, 2010|Categories: School Board News, School Reform|Tags: |
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