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Critics have faulted the NYU president as autocratic and have raised questions about ambitious projects he is pressing in the city and abroad.
Each March we take time to reflect on the amazing women who have left their mark throughout history. At the U.S. Department of Education, we realize we have a lot of women to celebrate in education. Every mother is an educator, instilling life lessons for future generations from the moment her child is born. Every sister, aunt, grandmother and even friends, help us learn valuable lessons in and out of the classroom. After all, we never truly stop learning and an education never ends.
As a small part to the month-long commemoration of inspirational women, we have chosen to highlight two women educators because of their incredible ability to break glass ceilings through their dedication to education. Please read and share these inspirational stories with the women and young girls in your own life.
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) Physician:
After many years of determined effort, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to complete a course of study at a medical college in the United States, graduating at the top of her class at Geneva Medical School (NY) with an M.D. degree in 1849. Blackwell later used her education and experience to help other women achieve doctorate degrees by establishing the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, the first medical school for women, resulting in greater acceptance of female physicians across the country.
Famous Quote: “It is not easy to be a pioneer – but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world.”
Share Elizabeth Blackwell’s story with your classroom:
Mary McLeod Bethune (1877-1955) Educator:
Equal parts educator, politician, and social visionary, Mary McLeod Bethune, dedicated her life to improving the lives of young African American women through the power of education. In 1904, Bethune established the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Girls, aimed to help young African American women living in the most impoverished areas of Florida get an education.
Famous Quote: “The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.”
These are just two women out of the millions who have helped educate our children. On behalf of all of us at the U.S. Department of Education, we thank you.
Kelsey Donohue is a senior at Marist College (N.Y.), and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach
Glimpses of life in academe from around the world.
Double majors tend to gain creative thinking skills, two researchers say, and they do so largely on their own, despite obstacles put in their way by academe.
Hamid A. Shirvani, who has led the university system for less than a year, has been at the center of skirmishes with legislators, students, and campus chiefs.
It would be "irresponsible" to name a president at a time when the university's accreditation is at risk, the chairman of the university's board said.
More than 40,000 medical-school students and graduates, the most ever, vied to land training positions at teaching hospitals.
The Education Department is improving its College Navigator, Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, and College Scorecard, even as use of the tools expands.
As technology helps blur national borders, universities must work harder to demonstrate their distinctiveness, presidents said at a conference in Hong Kong.
This time of year I typically dream of travelling someplace warm, but today I woke up wishing I were in Amsterdam.
As a Social Studies teacher, I would appreciate the opportunity to dive into the city’s rich history. Today I want to be there to participate in the third International Summit on the Teaching Profession.
Education leaders from around the world, including 150 teachers, are at the 2013 Summit to discuss teacher quality and evaluation. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report prepared for the Summit, 1 in 4 teachers globally never receive feedback from their school leadership. This highlights an opportunity for leaders to learn from each other about improving teacher evaluation and quality at the Summit. For example, today, the Dutch Education Minister shared that Holland is using peer review in teacher evaluation—a best practice learned from the U.S.
The previous Summits have been great learning opportunities for the U.S. delegation and inspired two important initiatives. One is the RESPECT vision statement for strengthening and elevating the teaching profession (shaped by over 4,000 American teachers). The other is Transforming the Teaching Profession, a framework developed by national groups representing teachers, superintendents, school boards, and state leaders that puts forth a common vision for teaching and learning.
Today in the Twitter feed for the Summit, a number of people tweeted a quote from the Estonian delegation, “Education is under heavy pressure. Either we make more and better rules. Or we must liberate the teacher profession…” As a teacher, I know that I want to be in a profession that is shaped by teachers. But owning our profession is not simply about being seated at a table set by others; we need to recognize that is our table.
While teachers and union leaders from the U.S. and other nations are at the Summit, I can’t personally be at the table in Amsterdam this week. Still, I can be informed and engaged. Here are some things I am doing:
Following the Twitter feed #ISTP2013 and participating in a conversation tomorrow on Twitter.
Reading the OCED background report for the Summit.
Reflecting on how I would answer the questions that are guiding this year’s summit and sending responses to the Teacher Mailbox, TeachTalk@ed.gov.
- How is teacher quality defined by policy makers, the teaching profession and society? What standards are set and by whom?
- How is teacher quality evaluated? What systems are in place and how are the evaluations carried out?
- How do evaluations contribute to school improvement and teacher self-efficacy? What impact can be expected on teaching and learning from teacher evaluation?
Engaging in conversations with my colleagues.
Watching Secretary Duncan’s video played during the opening session.
Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.
Lisa Clarke is a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow and social studies teacher on loan from Kent, Washington.
A Rural U.S. Principal Reflects on Collective Lessons from the Closing Session of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the closing session of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in New York City on March 17. I found it encouraging that so many of the goals and concerns of educators in the United States are shared by educators around the world.
As an educator from a rural area In Washington, I often feel that much of the national discussion on education involves issues of our urban areas, but I am beginning to see that the challenges are in some ways universal. We all face the need to raise student achievement and close gaps, whether in rural or metropolitan settings, in Europe or Africa.
One panelist observed that in all countries, the quality of education cannot exceed the quality of our teachers. This is why it is so important that we all find ways to improve our quality of teacher preparation programs and share with each other what is working.
Another panelist reminded educators that student learning is the only real aim of our work, and it seemed that her words ring as true in India as they do in Brazil.
One participant commented that the changing times have required her country to focus on transforming the curriculum so that the skills students learn arm them to compete in the globally competitive marketplace. In rural areas of Washington, I have struggled with limited resources to meet this challenge, but I imagine there are teachers in Japan going through the same thing.
A panelist from Norway encouraged me, when he/she urged that as we seek to improve education reform, we must respect and listen to teachers and give them autonomy while building trust. Trust is something that is earned every day, vertically and horizontally, among teachers and administrators, working all as professionals. Trust is a universal value, globally understood and appreciated.
By Tamra Jackson
Tamra Jackson is 2009-2010 Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the U.S. Department of Education. She currently serves as the principal Bridgeport High School, a remote rural high school in Bridgeport, WA.
Leaders agree on the urgent need to improve student access to courses. But some are wary of the hopes placed on new technology.
Gina M. Smith, a former sex-crimes prosecutor in Philadelphia, has advised many colleges on how to better handle sexual-assault accusations.
The proposal is a response to borrowers' laments over the complexity of loans, confusion of the servicers, and inadequacies of the complaint process.
Many colleges have created programs to support military and veteran students, but few have any sense of whether those programs are effective.
The decision to oust Teresa Sullivan as president showed a "failure of judgment" by a board led by a "headstrong rector."
A developmental math program unveiled by the Carnegie Foundation shows promise of helping students get past courses that keep many from graduating.
Mr. Hayward, who holds a Ph.D. in American studies, describes the three-year post as an "experiment." His goal is to help students become better thinkers.
Though most said they were not familiar with the new pontiff, one said, "This is a person who appears to understand the role of the university rather well."
Faculty members are voting this week on John E. Sexton's leadership, but they're divided over whether the president will change his ways.