Live From New York, It’s Education Nation

Education Nation Summit

Natalie Morales (right) moderates a panel featuring NYC Chancellor of Education Dennis Walcott and Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi. Photo by OSDE, on Flickr

Charissa FernandezShout out to NBC News for Education Nation. They’re a news org and they definitely brought the newsmakers: three Bushes, Geoff Canada and Diane Ravitch, Randi Weingarten, Bill Clinton, Pedro Noguera, Cory Booker, the gov who wants to bring down the unions, the mayor who fired all the teachers, the list goes on. I was especially grateful for the perspective offered by the students who are not yet newsmakers and haven’t yet learned the art of the sound bite. It might have been even more courageous to have fewer panelists and have more substantive conversations, but I get why they didn’t go that route; our attention spans are short and it’s much easier to read thousands of tweets.

To me the lowpoint of the summit was the governor’s panel. It wasn’t what they did or didn’t say, I actually can’t remember anything they said because I was so distracted by the lack of diversity. A GOP presidential debate is more diverse. I just kept thinking “10 governors, 1 woman, 0 people of color.” How can we claim to have a representative democracy? To me that panel laid bare the problems of our educational system.