Friday, September 09, 2011

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits the School of Education

Tags: bahr, bain, ball, cohen, deans updates, palincsar, sellers, teacher education, teacher education initiative, teacher quality

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, we had the tremendous honor of hosting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as he made a stop in Ann Arbor as part of his “Education and the Economy” bus tour. I moderated a panel conversation with Secretary Duncan as we discussed the ways to ensure quality teaching, promote excellence in America's classrooms, and leverage effective educational improvement.

President Mary Sue Coleman opened the event with gracious and very substantive welcoming remarks. I was then joined by the following colleagues in a conversation with Secretary Duncan:

  • Peter Riley Bahr, assistant professor, School of Education
  • Bob Bain, associate professor, School of Education; associate professor, Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor, School of Education; professor, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • Dedrick Martin, superintendent, Ypsilanti Public Schools
  • Annemarie Palincsar, Jean and Charles Walgreen Professor of Reading and Literacy, School of Education; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; associate dean for academic affairs
  • Jordan Peshke, senior, elementary teacher education program
  • Robert Sellers, professor, School of Education; professor, Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

They were each wonderful and contributed in important ways to the scope and substance of the conversation. I was really pleased by the content and the focus of the discussion, which received terrific coverage in the media. The U.S. Department of Education also posted an amazing video on YouTube the day after the event, with excerpts from the event. The conversation showcased our efforts to transform our own teacher education program and spoke to the larger issues of teacher quality, educational equity and access, and the role of different agents in affecting change. The event was both live-streamed and recorded; the one-hour, three-minute video can be watched online.

This event was planned in record time! I would like to thank Ron Miller, who oversaw the audio and video set up, Mike Napolitan, who made sure Prechter looked better than ever, Jenny DeMonte, who managed the media coverage, and Kathryn Taylor, who expertly oversaw the planning for the event. I would also like to thank the many university leaders, students, faculty, and staff who attended the event. Our standing-room-only crowd demonstrated in a very real way a strong commitment to the improvement of educational access and outcomes.

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