Education Nation

It is extremely impressive when a major broadcast network commits time, talent, resources to education.  NBC News, a division of NBC Universal, has made such a commitment.    I am a professional educator with more than 30 years in the field.   In my experience, superintendents are the most prominent educators in a community.  Principals have the most difficult jobs.  Teachers, however, hold the most important positions in any education setting.    Teachers took center stage in NBC News recent initiative:  Education Nation.

Having watched a segment, Teacher Town Hall, on 26 September 2010, I came away with these thoughts:

  1. Teachers are speakers.  The ability to communicate is an inherent requirement for teaching.  Whether written or verbal, teachers spoke on air, via e-mail and texting.  Several were clear and compelling.  Such should be the quality of classroom communications.  Other teachers were not quite so confident but they were on a world stage.  A new place for teachers.
  2. Passionate advocates.   Several speakers addressed their passion for teaching, commitment to students, belief in student ability regardless of socio-economic status and accountability of the profession.  Passion is powerful but it is not enough for excellence in the classroom.
  3. “It takes a village.”  Borrowing from the African proverb, Secretary Hillary Clinton’s earlier book title and others, education success requires a “village” —  active engagement of home, school, community.  For some children, school and community will take more prominent roles.   By joining together, citizens, educators and family can wrap the fabric of learning around every child.

NBC News has committed to Education Nation as a sustained area of coverage.   Reporting from various perspectives — global education, federal and state level governments, school boards, education associations, superintendents, school business officers,  administrators, teachers, counselors, parents, higher education, employers and certainly students – will paint a more complete picture of a very complex experience.

Such ongoing investigations will shape the conversation, help find problems and ideally identify solutions.  After all “learning is for everyone (LIFE)