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Monday, April 25, 2011

Sound bites from EWA - Educators speak out on issues at event.

 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,  NBC News President Steve Capus and American Federation of Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten were among those who spoke at the Education Writers Association 64th National Seminar in New Orleans at the Intercontinental Hotel in early April.
The theme was Recovery and Reform in a city that was hit the hardest in a hurricane and still fighting to regain what they lost.
The conference brought together educators and journalists across the nation to learn about the issues facing education as well as some got a view of what it's like inside the schools of New Orleans.
Policy makers and academics who work on the front lines of the education arena spoke passionately on topics such as union reform, higher education, and school financing. Here are some snippets from the  panelists and speakers during the conference weekend.

Lunchtime talk with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan - here are some sound bites from his discussion with the crowd. 

“I have yet to talk to teacher who is scared about accountability. They just want it to be fair.”
“Most teacher evaluations are broken.”
“Nothing could have happen without Race to the Top.”

“Our goal is to not dance with lemons.” (This was in reference to a recent movie "Waiting for Superman" a documentary about U.S. public education system.)

“We are just going to invest in results.”

“Can’t support cuts in early childhood education."

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association had some things to say during the State of Teachers Union discussion at the conference.

"We have a system in the United States where 47 percent of teachers leave within five years,"  Van Roekel said.  "No one wants incompetence in the classroom. We have to lead and develop." 

"Across the states, school leaders are concerned with budgets and unfunded mandates," Higher Education Editor, Scott Jaschik said during the Higher Education Budget Cuts: Magnitude and Impact session.

"Pell grants use to be a bi-partisan program," Jaschik said.

  States can't rely on a steady diet of (federal) funds." panelists from session on Federal Money: Stimulus and Beyond said.

Sandy Kress, former President Bush education advisor that helped write the original No Child Left Behind shared his thought about the legislation. 

"I don't see any consensus around the (NCLB) policy," he said. "We really have to pay more attention to secondary education and worry about teacher effectiveness. We have to spend our money in a more targeted and effective way. I don't see serious thought in resolving those issues."

                                          U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan answers a
                                           question about school unions and collective bargaining.

 -- Angela Gartner


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