You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that media are focusing on education and teachers these days. Time Magazine runs a cover story and accompanying pieces about the upcoming “Waiting for Superman” documentary. Newsweek publishes some inside features on President Obama’s push for reform with Race to the Top. And now NBC television has launched a website initiative with news anchor Brian Williams that is called Education Nation, which touts itself as a place “to engage the public, through thoughtful dialogue, in pursuit of the shared goal of providing every American with an opportunity to pursue the best education in the world.”
NBC is hosting a series of live summits on the topic of education in the coming weeks, including a September 26 teacher online summit that features educators from around the country. This forum will precede a two-day educational event being held in New York City on September 27 and 28 during which, according to the site, “workforce readiness, developing great teachers, technology and innovation, parental involvement, early education, higher education, and the politics of education” will be explored. The television network will use its various resources and outlets (online home, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, etc.) to broadcast components of this initiative.
The list of topics of discussion 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
It’s difficult to know how much of this is just sensationalism attached to the upcoming documentary, but it will behoove teachers to pay attention and become involved in these discussions.