This important question was the topic discussed during an educational leadership forum hosted by Blackboard at the National Press Club on May 16, and a topic that really hit home for me as a previous first grade teacher in Washington D.C. Public Schools.
The discussion was moderated by Adam Newman from Eduventures Inc., and the four esteemed panelists included Susan Patrick, president and CEO, North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL); Ken Kay, president, Partnership for 21st Century Skills; Debra Sprague, Ph.D., assistant professor, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University; and Don Knezek, CEO, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
The panelists discussed the current and relevant issues that influence global competitiveness, such as teacher training, standardized testing, twenty-first century skills and technology integration. As I found myself agreeing with almost everything discussed, I couldn’t help but remember the issues I grappled with as a teacher, such as meeting my professional development seat hours, teaching Alicia how to read and keeping those pencils sharpened.
Clearly, my top priority as a teacher was not systemic education reform because I was occupied with day-to-day teaching responsibilities. But, change happens in the classroom. So, as I listened to the intriguing panel discussion, I kept returning to what I believe might be the biggest hurdle to school reform: How do we ensure strategies set at the state and district level are implemented in the classrooms?
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(Former First Grade Teacher)
K-12 Product Marketing Manager