The Obama Administration continually seeks opportunities to meet with state and local stakeholders, whether in Washington DC or in communities across the country. The White House and the Department of Education recently hosted a group of education leaders from across the country. Arizona State Senator David Schapira was part of the group and shared an overview of their day:
150 current and former teachers descended on the nation's capitol lastweek as the White House invited the educators to come to Washington to meet with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Many in this particular group of educators have the common experience of working in high-need schools in urban and rural areas across the country through their participation in Teach For America. Many of those who have completed their two-year Teach For America teaching commitment still serve those communities as classroom teachers, while others have moved into school leadership, education policy and elected leadership positions.
Those in attendance on August 16 had the opportunity to visit the White House and the Department of Education. At the Department,they met with Secretary Duncan and his senior staff. The Secretary hosted a two-hour discussion on the state of education in the U.S. and the future of education policy at the federal level. A wide range of topics were discussed, including teacher quality initiatives, education funding reform and rural education policy, as well as issues involving reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind).
The forum concluded with the sentiment that many more of these conversations with educators should take place, ensuring that teachers and local education leaders are involved in the decision-making and implementation of federal, state and local policy.
Michael Block is Assistant Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.