Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Summer Programs: Keeping Students Reading and Learning
This edition showcases several award-winning and effective summer learning programs; explores innovative strategies to academically engage and nurture low-income and disadvantaged youth during the summer; profiles corporate, community and library-based initiatives designed to encourage students to read and learn during the break; and spotlights the efforts of organizations dedicated to providing disadvantaged students with access to books and reading materials in the summer and throughout the year. Educators, policymakers, parents and community leaders will discuss key issues such as:
- Why is it important to sustain academic skills over the break and avoid the “summer slide?”
- What does an effective and high-quality summer learning program look like?
- What kinds of summer programs are available and who offers them?
- What types of summer reading programs are available to students and how can parents find out more about them?
- What can parents do during the summer encourage their children to continue learning?
- How can parents, schools, libraries and community organizations access free children’s books and reading materials?
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Teacher Quality: Inspiring Excellence and Strengthening Innovation
This edition looks at how we can prepare all teachers to lead our students towards success in today’s world by showcasing award-winning teachers; exploring how effective teaching is at the core of America’s long-term economic competitiveness; highlighting alternative strategies to recruit, train, and reward effective teachers; offering tips and resources for teachers and parents on how to protect children from emergencies and counsel them in times of trauma. Educators, policymakers, and practitioners discuss key questions such as:
- What does “effective teaching” mean and what is the Department doing to promote it?
- What is a “highly qualified” teacher and why are teachers so important to student achievement?
- What can we do to better recruit, train, and reward teachers, especially those in critical subjects like math and science or those who teach in high-need schools?
- What programs does the Department of Education offer to help improve teaching and learning?
- How can parents ensure that a high-quality teacher teaches their child? What questions should they ask of their teachers and school administrators to ensure effective teaching?
- How do the President’s 2008 budget proposals—like the Teacher Incentive Fund, loan forgiveness programs and the Adjunct Teacher Corps—help to fill critical teaching shortages in high-need schools and subjects?
- How can teachers and parents better protect children from school violence or other emergencies, and how can they help children to recover in the event of one?
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Charters and School Choice
Today, parents have more choices than ever— they can choose from neighborhood schools, charter schools or other public schools of choice, or transfer their children to another public school in or out of district. Families can also select private schools, either religious or secular, or teach their children at home. Free tutoring programs are also available to families with students in certain low-performing schools. This episode highlights Bush Administration proposals to expand public and private school choice, as well as successful charter and school choice programs, as educators, policymakers and parent-leaders discuss key issues such as:
- What are the latest tools and options for parents under No Child Left Behind?
- How has the charter school and school choice movement impacted academic achievement? What does a high-performing choice program or charter school look like?
- If a child is attending a school “in need of improvement,” where does a parent go to find out information on school choice options and free tutoring providers?
- What are Opportunity Scholarships and how might they benefit parents whose children attend chronically underperforming schools?
- What kinds of new choice initiatives can parents look forward to under No Child Left Behind?
- What resources does the Department provide to inform parents about the full range of options available to them under the law?
Those seeking more information about exemplary charter school programs might be interested in learning about those profiled in several past editions of Cable in the Classroom's Threshold, including most recently here.
Finally, in concert with the producers of Education News Parents Can Use, we would like to add our heartfelt condolences to those touched by the recent Virginia Tech tragedy. Last fall, Cable in the Classroom partnered with the Council of Chief State School Officers to produce a special edition of Threshold focused on disaster preparedness in the 21st century, including advice and resources for school officials charged with emergency planning for schools.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Transforming Higher Education: Access and Affordability for All Students
In an era when what students know is the most important factor in determining success, postsecondary education has never been more critical. Yet, there are far too many Americans who want to go to college but can’t, either because they’re not prepared or can’t afford it. In this episode, award-winning educators, university leaders, students and other experts discuss the Commission on the Future of Higher Education's final report and the Secretary' Action Plan for Higher Education, and explore how the Department, parents, schools, and higher education institutions together can put the Commission's recommendations into action to better prepare students for college, to help them succeed once enrolled, and to make college affordable. It addresses questions such as:
- Why is a college education more important than ever before? What federal, state and local strategies are helping us to meet this demand?
- How accessible is higher education? And how can we make it more affordable?
- How can we help students, especially minority youth, prepare for and succeed in college?
- How will the Commission on the Future of Higher Education’s final report and the Secretary’s Action Plan improve the accessibility, affordability and accountability of U.S. colleges and universities?
- When should parents and students start thinking about saving for college, and what programs and resources are available to help?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Math and Science Education: Critical Skills for the 21st Century
To ensure that this and future generations of students have the math and science skills to be globally competitive, we must build a stronger foundation in these subjects in the early grades, and encourage more children to consider careers in math and science. This episode focuses on a series of targeted math and science-related investments the President has proposed under the American Competitiveness Initiative. As described in the program, the Initiative aims to strengthen K-12 math and science education in a number of innovative ways. It addresses questions such as:
- What is the “global economy” and what new demands does it place on our students and our schools?
- How does No Child Left Behind strengthen math and science? How will the 2007 science assessments help?
- How will the American Competitiveness Initiative help to improve math and science instruction, student competence and achievement, and ultimately close the achievement gaps?
- How can parents encourage their children to learn mathematics and science outside the classroom?
- What should students be learning in mathematics and science at the elementary, middle and high school grades? What must change in the way these subjects are currently being taught?
- How can we encourage all students, especially girls and minority students, to pursue math and science careers?
Listeners may also be interested in the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, of which Cable in the Classroom is a founding board member, as well the Spring 2005 edition of Cable in the Classroom's Threshold (produced in partnership with NASA), which focused on the future of math and science education. In addition, science education is the theme of the March 2007 edition of Cable in the Classroom Magazine.