Regular Joe

Unfiltered (and totally caffeinated)

Inauguration Video – the Educational Panel

Cspan had a great video about education a few days ago which is posted online.  It’s 90 minutes long, but is well worth the listen.  

The panel’s title is “African-Americans and Education” but it touches on some of the most relevant and important conversations we’re having in education today.  The panel includes some of the foremost names in education today: Arlene Ackerman (Philly Superintendent), Andres Alonso (Baltimore Schools CEO), Leslie Fenwick (Dean of Education, Howard U.), Kevin Gover (Director, National Museum of the American Indian), Joel Klein (Chancellor of NYC schools), Charles Ogletree (Executive Director, Houston Institute for Race and Justice), Paul Vallas (Superintendent, Recovery SD in NOLA) and someone I’ve been following very close, Michelle Rhee of the DC Public School District.  

The discussion touched on school funding and Obama’s ‘plan’ (including comprehensive pre-k education programs), pay for performance, poverty’s role in eduation, school choice and vouchers, school hours and calendars and national standards.  

One of he most important pieces of the discussion, I think, is the ability of national standards to increase efficiency, and potentially test scores in education because of the elimination of SO MUCH duplication of efforts: Every state, every district, and even every school!  The fact that it was brought up as one of the ways to lower the cost of education is encouraging.  

The other important piece I got out of the panel was the general agreement that teacher quality is the greatest predicting factor of student success (I studied student success for my graduate thesis, but came from the angle of class size and spending rather than teacher quality).  Joel Klein’s quote said it all, “the one thing we know that matters is the quality of teachers”.  The more we can do to improve teacher quality, I agree, the better off the education will be.  I hope to do my part — having a 2nd go with t4a.  

Wish me luck.

Link to cspan

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