Where are Educators?: Non-Education Nation is a Phony
I’ll admit it, I went to New York City as a panelist for Education Nation. In the post MSNBC Education Nation 2012 Part II: Demanding accountability from charters I discussed my altercation with Jonathan Alter, a non-education expert journalist, about a peer-reviewed charter study published in the Berkeley Review of Education that he called “cherry picking data.” I profiled the disagreement in the post MSNBC Education Nation 2012 Part I: When data gets in the way of ideology
Here is a photo I took from where I was seated:
I dutifully performed my job as the research-based alternative to the ideology of reform narrative at Education Nation during last year’s Melissa Harris-Perry program. However, this year it looks like Education Nation is determined to stack the deck with non-educators.
Is Education Nation now a phony? Who is on tap for the panels? See there current list of profiled speakers here.
As an in-class project in the school reform class that I teach on Tuesdays, we searched the web and dug into the backgrounds of all of the speakers listed early this week. What did we find? There were about 65 featured panelist. Of these:
- ~10 were/are K-12 classroom teachers
- ~1 were/are principals
Who has a platform as educational experts if not educators?
We will hear perspectives on “What It Takes” from some of the biggest names in education, politics, business, and entertainment…
What!? There is more…
Through individual stories, we will form a collective snapshot of the challenges facing our public education system, as well as some of the real successes being achieved in meeting those challenges.
Note, the vast majority panelist have no experience as K-12 educators… Do you find this strange and/or typical? Who exactly is going to help us form a collective snapshot? How about panelist Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs, more than 15 politicians, and a gob of Hollywood panelists without educator experience.
Well, Non-Education Nation has so gratuitously or graciously (they both work here) included the perspective teachers, students, administrators, and parents, not on the panels, but in the audience (to listen to the education experts of course) and via moderated video snapshots:
The teachers, students, administrators, and parents at our Summit. We’d also like to hear from YOU, and we invite you to submit your ideas for “What It Takes;” you can find instructions here
How about we have the “biggest names in education, politics, business, and entertainment” sit in the audience and submit their input via moderate video clips and we have the “teachers, students, administrators, and parents” have the prominent voice on the panels at Education Nation?!? We just might hear a different perspective on the current conditions in schools under NCLB relative to the “expertise” we will get during two days of national TV programming from more than 50 non-educator reformers.
Non-Education Nation is a phony.
Melissa Harris-Perry, You are our only hope.
Update: 9/26/13 2:24 p.m. Let Non-Education Nation know how you feel about this:
Joe Alicastro is an Education Nation senior producer firstname.lastname@example.org
You can tweet Education Nation @EducationNation
You can contact Education Nation on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/educationnation
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