NBC News is readying an education week slate of programming and events designed to highlight the challenges - and opportunities - facing America's much-maligned education system.
The week-long event kicks off Sept. 27 with a two-day summit in Rockefeller Plaza, NBC's New York headquarters. The initiative, called Education Nation, will include education stories on all NBC News networks, programs and platforms throughout the week of Sept. 27 including Nightly News, Today, Meet the Press, Your Business, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, msnbc.com and nbclearn.com.
"As journalists it is our job to shed light on critical issues facing our country, and sadly, education reform has too often been overlooked," Steve Capus, President of NBC News, said in a statement. "The time is now to jump-start those discussions through the Education Nation forums, related NBC News programming and our critically acclaimed NBC Learn platforms. NBC News is committed to furthering the education discussion now and for years to come."
Those scheduled to participate in the Rockefeller Plaza summit include Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Harlem Children Zone's CEO Geoffrey Canada, MIT president Susan Hockfield, Al Sharpton, and Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix.
The Plaza will be turned into an interactive "Learning Plaza," with the help of architect David Rockwell, where passerby can explore interactive classrooms that highlight the latest successful technologies and techniques.
The initiative is partly funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Phoenix, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, American Express, Raytheon, Tishman Speyer and Scholastic. In addition to promoting the summit to teachers, students and parents through its network, Scholastic will also assign its kid reporter network to cover the summit from the student perspective.
Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Gates Foundation, applauds NBC's summit: "Conditions demand dramatic improvements in our public schools. I believe today's evidence-based reforms can make a huge difference for students. But it is critical that America's teachers and parents engage in these changes to bring higher and sustained achievement for all young people."
For more information including a list of participants and schedule of events, visit www.educationnation.com.