The NBC Education Nation Summit Is Coming. We’ll Be There.

Some of the biggest minds and names in both media and education are convening at a summit in New York City next week. And Edudemic will be there.

Nearly all of the big NBC names will be in attendance and they’ll be leading panels and discussions on all things education. Be sure to check out the panels below and the Education Nation Summit website for all the details. But here’s the skinny:

It’s happening the week of September 25th on Rockefeller Plaza. The Summit will feature educators, parents, policymakers, elected officials, business leaders, students and engaged citizens in a national discussion about the challenges and potential solutions spanning today’s education landscape.
This year’s lineup of education panels will include sessions on teaching and testing, the brain science behind early learning, and the value of higher education in today’s economy.

While the Summit is an invitation-only event, NBC will be streaming both days of panel sessions LIVE at on September 26th and 27th, so be sure to tune in! (You may even see your friendly Edudemic writers as we’ll be transmitting live from the big tent on 30 Rock all day.) The sessions will also be available for on-demand viewing after the event.

Big Names, Big Topics

To date, confirmed sessions at the “Education Nation” Summit include:

Brain Power: Why Early Learning Matters
Every child starts with one thing in common: the potential to learn. And that’s where the Education Nation Summit will begin-with a visual journey into the science of brain development and early childhood learning-showing how a child’s first few formative years impact his or her entire life.

NBC News’ Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman will moderate this session on Monday, September 26th. Jennifer Garner, artist ambassador for Save The Children’s U.S. Programs, is confirmed to participate on the panel.

What’s In A ZIP Code? A Look At Inequality Across Our Public Schools – President Obama has said that education is the civil rights issue of our time. Schools face unprecedented pressure to increase achievement for the most disadvantaged students, but is it possible to fix education without first fixing poverty?

A national movement has coalesced around the idea that effective teaching trumps all, while many prominent educators say that even the best schools can’t overcome basic issues like poor health and poverty, pointing to stark inequities in the system. NBC News’ Brian Williams will moderate this discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Who’s Getting Graded: Putting Accountability to the Test
A national movement has coalesced around the idea of “no excuses” for failing schools as dozens of states are changing the way they evaluate teachers in order to factor in student achievement. The nation’s largest teachers’ union even voted this summer to endorse linking teacher evaluation to student learning.

Meanwhile, the National Academies of Science says that test-based accountability hasn’t improved student learning over the last decade, a few high-profile cheating scandals have made national headlines, and some argue that the focus on testing is having the unintended consequence of holding back students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. What does it all mean, and where do we go from here? NBC News’ Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis will moderate the discussion on Monday, September 26th.

A Matter of Degrees: Measuring the Value of Higher Ed
More than ever before, job openings are requiring workers with at least some college education. But even though more students are entering college than ever before, the nation is a long way from meeting the “preparation gap” for the future workforce.

This session will take a complete look at the scope of the college completion crisis-why so many students drop out and what to do about it and the value of higher education in today’s economy. This panel session will be moderated by Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” on Tuesday, September 27th.

Classrooms In Action: A Window On Great Teaching – “Education Nation” takes a live look into classrooms around the country to see firsthand what effective teaching truly looks like.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President of the National Education Association Dennis Van Roekel will participate in a discussion about how and why these classrooms were selected and the overall power of great teaching. NBC News’ Ann Curry will moderate this session on Monday, Sept. 26.

Global Influence: What Can We Learn? – Compared to the rest of the world, U.S. high school students rank 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math – at or below the international average in all three subjects – and the country has fallen from leading the world to now ranking 9th when it comes to young adults who complete college.

To have a globally competitive economy and workforce, what should America be learning from the leading nations? And with new research suggesting that we’re not heeding the lessons from these countries, will the U.S. rise to the challenge? NBC News’ Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis will moderate this session on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The Changing Face of Education – More than 1 in 5 students in the nation’s public schools are Latino – constituting the largest, and fastest growing, minority group in our education system. But Latinos also have the lowest student achievement levels – with less access to early childhood programs, lower reading and math scores, a higher chance of dropping out of high school and worse odds of attending college than any other group.

Meanwhile, with Latinos expected to represent 60% of the nation’s population growth over the next four decades, the country’s economic future depends on ensuring that Latinos are prepared for college and 21st century careers. Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart will moderate the discussion on Monday, Sept. 26.

Motor City On A Mission: Taking The Driver’s Seat In Education – In the last two years, Detroit has stunned the nation with the auto industry’s historic turnaround. Now, the Motor City is taking aim at a crisis of equal proportions – its failing schools – with an unprecedented gamble on school leadership. A historic partnership between the state, city and Eastern Michigan University will create a new school district made up of the most troubled Detroit schools – but its success will depend on a new system-wide leader and principals, who are given wide latitude to run their schools.

This discussion will feature some of the leadership forces behind Detroit’s “Education Achievement Authority,” who will be joined later in the session by other education leaders who have beaten the odds in school systems across the country. MSNBC’s Tamron Hall will moderate this session on Monday, Sept. 26.

Going Local: What A City Can Do For Its Schools – Mayors understand that improving their local economies requires a well-prepared workforce – and that the buck stops with them. For some, that means tackling issues like health, hunger, homelessness and safety. For others, it means involving the entire community in expanding access to college.

Participating mayors join education and community leaders to discuss how they’re addressing education and workforce challenges – and the partnerships they’re forming to get students all the way from pre-K to college graduation. NBC News’ Lester Holt will moderate the session on Tuesday, Sept. 27.


Voices of a Generation: Students Speak Out – On Tuesday, Sept. 27, “Education Nation” will host a unique session moderated by NBC News’ Ann Curry. In this discussion, young people provide insight into their own experiences with education and what they think needs to be done to ensure that every student receives a world-class education.

These students and former students discuss how they’re overcoming challenges to find their own path to success, and what the nation’s government, business, media and education leaders attending the Summit can learn from their experiences with the education system.

Stepping Up: The Power of a Parent Advocate – Whether they’re advocating for more time for arts and music in their local school or for major changes in state law, parent involvement often gets started based on just one thing: the needs of their individual child. Across the country, parents are leading the charge for “trigger” laws to overhaul failing schools, to scale back high-stakes testing – and everything in between. Now some are even asking: Do parents need a union of their own?

On Monday, Sept. 26th, NBC News’ “Education Nation” will explore the issue of parental involvement and advocacy, with Natalie Morales moderating the discussion.


Complete Coverage

Edudemic will be featuring multiple articles, follow-ups, interviews, and features on the Summit during and afterwards. Be sure to check back often as there will be fun surprises and giveaways to all the wonderful Edudemic readers. Stay tuned! (Get it, that’s a tv joke…NBC…is this thing on?)