Friday, September 17, 2010


NBC News is hosting the Education Nation Summit at Rockefeller Center in NYC on Sept. 26-27, in which I will be participating.  Here's an email from one of the organizers with an invitation for teachers to participate virtually in a Teacher Town Hall meeting on Sunday, 9/26 at noon (see full invite at the bottom of this email):


Can you help us to get the word out about the first event of the summit, a Teacher Town Hall meeting on 9/26/10, which will give teachers the opportunity to get involved in the conversation about improving education in America. The meeting will be moderated by Brian Williams and aired live on MSNBC. We are inviting teachers from across the country to participate virtually. They should register in advance at Below is the invitation, which has all the details.


Also below is today's press release about the event and the confirmed participants, including Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp, Cory Booker, Mayor Bloomberg, Joel Klein, Geoff Canada, John Legend and, yes, Randi.




Panelists include Reed Hastings, Founder & CEO of Netflix; Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public School System of Washington, D.C.; Musician John Legend; Former US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings; and Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers


New York, NY - September 13 - NBC News' "Education Nation" Summit, the Sept. 27-28 centerpiece of the weeklong "Education Nation" initiative that begins Sept. 26 at Rockefeller Plaza, will convene the foremost policymakers, elected officials, thought leaders, educators, members of the business community and engaged citizens in a national discussion about the challenges, potential solutions and innovations spanning today's education landscape. NBC News today announced the agenda of panel topics for the Summit, along with a number of confirmed panelists.

The Summit's 11 panel sessions will present discussions on important topics in education such as: workforce readiness; developing great teachers; technology and innovation; parental involvement; early education; higher education; and the politics of education.  The "Education Nation" sessions will be covered on MSNBC and streamed on live and for delayed viewing.

"The state of education in America is facing a number of complex challenges. Many students are falling behind, dropping out and leaving school unprepared for today's jobs in alarming numbers - yet a sense of urgency seems to be lacking," said Steve Capus, President NBC News. "In order to spark and elevate a national dialogue we have convened an impressive 'Education Nation' lineup representing a great diversity of interests and ideas."

"The response we've received from leaders in education has been overwhelmingly positive," said Lisa Gersh, President of Strategic Initiatives at NBC News. "The experts we have convened at 'Education Nation' will highlight some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in education in this country, jumpstarting a national conversation about one of the most pressing issues of our time." 

To date, confirmed participating speakers include:


  • Maria Bartiromo: Anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and Anchor and Managing Editor of "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo"
  • Michael Bloomberg: Mayor, City of New York
  • Cory Booker: Mayor, City of Newark, New Jersey
  • Phil Bredesen: Governor, State of Tennessee
  • Steven Brill: Co-founder of Journalism Online
  • Tom Brokaw: NBC News Special Correspondent
  • Geoffrey Canada: CEO & President of Harlem Children's Zone Project
  • David Coleman: Founder & CEO, Student Achievement Partners; Contributing Author of the Common Core Standards
  • Ann Curry: News Anchor, "Today" and Anchor, "Dateline NBC"
  • Arne Duncan: US Secretary of Education
  • Byron Garrett: CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • Allan Golston, President, US Program, The Gates Foundation
  • Jennifer M. Granholm: Governor, State of Michigan
  • David Gregory: Moderator, "Meet the Press"
  • Reed Hastings: Founder & CEO of Netflix
  • Lester Holt: Anchor, "NBC Nightly News," Weekend Edition and Co-Host, "Today" Weekend Edition
  • Walter Isaacson: President & CEO of the Aspen Institute
  • Joel Klein: Chancellor of New York City Schools
  • Wendy Kopp: CEO and Founder of Teach for America
  • John Legend: Musician; Founder of the Show Me Campaign
  • Jack Markell: Governor, State of Delaware
  • Gregory McGinity: Managing Director of Policy, The Broad Education Foundation
  • Andrea Mitchell: NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host, "Andrea Mitchell Reports"
  • Janet Murguia: President & CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
  • Michael Nutter: Mayor, City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Bill Pepicello, Ph.D.: President of University of Phoenix
  • Sally Ride: First Female Astronaut; Vice-chair of Change the Equation
  • Michelle Rhee: Chancellor, District of Columbia Public School System of Washington, D.C.
  • Edward Rust: Chairman & CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Gwen Samuel, CT delegate to Mom Congress
  • Barry Schuler: Former CEO of AOL
  • Sterling Speirn: CEO, Kellogg Foundation
  • Margaret Spellings: Former US Secretary of Education
  • Antonio Villaraigosa: Mayor, City of Los Angeles, California
  • Randi Weingarten: President of American Federation of Teachers (AFT-CLO)
  • Brian Williams: Anchor and Managing Editor "NBC Nightly News" 


Confirmed sessions at "Education Nation" 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

NBC News' "Education Nation" will launch Sunday, Sept. 26 on "Meet the Press." Additional news coverage and programming airing across all NBC News programs and platforms will extend beyond the two-day Summit. For the entire week of September 27, "Nightly News," "Today," "Your Business," MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and will highlight educational success stories, uncover staggering truths and myths about education, and demonstrate how poor education cripples our economy and society.

In addition to the Summit, NBC News will turn Rockefeller Plaza into a "Learning Plaza," which will include a series of galleries open to the public to explore the latest technologies and techniques used in award-winning classrooms nationwide. Interactive elements of "Learning Plaza" include learning style quizzes, video teacher tributes, interactive learning stations, and a  "Call to Action" center where visitors can discover ways to take part in improving education. Also open to the public will be an interactive "Teaching Garden," which teaches children about the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness through hands-on participation.

For more information visit, or follow on twitter @EducationNation or find "Education Nation" on Facebook at

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