Friday, January 09, 2009

The Future of Education: The New Secretary of Education's Five Questions

I want to encourage you to share your thoughts on the new "Future of Education" Community.

I've started this  community to provide an opportunity for those who care about education to share their voices and ideas on charting the course of education in a networked world. It's a place for thoughtful discussion on an incredibly important topic. The site will launch officially at the end of the month with the start of a weekly interview series, but I'm inviting some participation now because of an email Carol Broos sent out.

Carol is one of twelve teachers who have been invited to participate in a round table discussion concerning the direction of education with the new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on January 21. She was sent the following questions, and is asking for feedback and ideas. You can respond either at the new site or her wiki at Here are the questions:

1. What is the one most important education issue you wish Secretary Duncan to focus on during his tenure and why?
2. How shall the tenets of the No Child Left Behind act be altered or invigorated? What are its positives? How can its negatives be improved?
3. How should the new administration respond to the nation’s need for better prepared and more qualified teachers?
4.What should the new administration do to increase student engagement in mathematics, the sciences and the arts?
5. How should funding equity issues be addressed?

There is also a discussion topic on what questions were not asked that might have been.

Thank you so much for helping Carol. If you like the idea of this site, and would like to help or have any ideas, please let me know at

[Driving into the unknown photo by]


  1. I would suggest that US educators recommend taking a good look backward before thinking of planning or going forward.
    I love the recent pictures of Obama and the ex-presidents. What were the plans and ultimate achievements of those past leaders over decades?
    In the past, I recall looking at the document, "A Nation at Risk". Perhaps someone should write a paper, with "... revisited" on the end of that.
    It maybe that still nothing much has changed?

    Just some thoughts from an overseas observer.

  2. Anonymous10:42 AM

    I'd love to see more student-parent-educator communication embraced. As a parent and technologist, I am really amazed by the lack of schools interested in achieving this.

    I think in the past we have seen an initial commitment to doing this and that to better our educational system, but it seems to get bogged down in typical Washington politics.

    I am curious on how the new administration will live up to it's promises or if it will become the befuddled mess of presidents past.

  3. @etalbert: Good point. Glad you're "observing!"

    @mark: I hope you'll bring this aspect of the discussion out on in the discussion forum of the new community.

    What interests me, at this point, is whether we can use social media to change the dynamic of how and where the discussions on this important issue take place--and how responsibility for change can shift.

  4. Quantity of workers on industries and agriculture are decreasing. At the same time, the amount of workers in services activities are continuously increasing reaching almost 84% of total workers. And the amount of services jobs done at home are also increasing. Therefore, Education projects from now on, would have to focus on establishing an alliance between school-parents-student in order to improve students learning by using parents' time, support and experience.


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