“There is nothing more important we can do for this country than to get a great teacher in front of every child,” Secretary Arne Duncan declared on Tuesday night’s national town hall for teachers, a special edition of Education News Parents Can Use, the U.S. Department of Education‘s monthly television program. Duncan hosted a wide-ranging, lively, and sometimes emotional discussion with the teachers in his studio audience — as well as those taking part via the live webcast and hundreds of broadcast, cable, and satellite television stations carrying the program.
He fielded comments and questions from the more than 60 Washington, D.C., area teachers in the studio and answered phone calls and responded to blog entries and videos sent in before the hour-long broadcast. The conversation ranged from ideas for recruiting and retaining excellent teachers to ways to improve the Elementary and Secondary School Act.
A Florida middle school educator called to ask about support for teachers to pursue advanced degrees “to better ourselves as teachers in order to meet the needs of our kids.” A Maryland teacher in the studio audience described an innovative effort designed by school administrators and the teachers’ union to mentor new teachers and help them succeed. An ED blog comment suggesting that legislators who work on education laws be required to spend time in the classroom elicited a big round of applause.
Duncan closed the town hall with a word of thanks to all teachers throughout the country. “It is inspiring and humbling to work with them,” he said.
Watch the archived webcast of the program at http://www.connectlive.com/events/ednews.