Rethinking Education

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Here’s a quick note about a very important program that airs tonight on KET.

In the last program of the year, Education Matters focuses on the teaching profession. So far this year, the Education Matters team has tackled arts education, technology for next-generation learning in Kentucky schools, and the implications of year-round high school athletics in schools.

But, ask yourself this question: Where would we be, where would your child be, where would high standards education in Kentucky be, without highly motivated, smart, qualified classroom teachers?

This program, which features an outstanding panel, including Beth Ann Fuller, the 2012 Kentucky Elementary Teacher of the Year, covers issues related to the teaching profession in Kentucky and the nation. Topics include the challenges and successes of teaching in the U.S., evaluating classroom performance, compensation, and attracting and retaining teachers.

A recent study found teachers have a far more lasting and wide-ranging effect on students than most people ever realized. The study’s findings are remarkable. It shows that students who had highly effective elementary and middle school teachers went on to have much better outcomes in life than students who had lower-performing teachers.

In another survey, just a year ago, more than 42,000 Kentucky educators participated in an online survey about the teaching and learning conditions in their schools. Kentucky’s participation—more than 80%—was the highest in the nation. We’ll talk about that survey on the program tonight.

I’ll ask the panel to talk about the challenges and rewards of teaching, how classroom effectiveness can be evaluated, and what can be done to attract and retain good teachers.

Joining Beth Fuller, who teaches at Atkinson Academy in Jefferson County, will be first year teacher Jonathan Rogers of Bryan Station High School in Fayette County, Stephanie Winkler of Mayfield Elementary in Madison County, and Stu Silberman of the Prichard Committee.

One of the questions that came out of the survey I mentioned earlier was posed by the writer: Given the potential impact our teachers have on our kids and society, isn’t it time to rethink how we assign, retain, evaluate, and pay educators?

Education Matters airs tonight at 9/8 CT on KET. Visit KET’s TV schedule for additional airdates.

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