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January 7th, 2010
08:46 PM ET

Video: Students weigh in on education

Tonight we are continuing our What’s Next series with a focus on schools. Anderson is speaking with the Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor, Michelle Rhee, about future innovations in the education system.

We hit schoolyards in Atlanta, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to hear from students of all ages. They shared their ideas, goals, interests, and some had questions for Chancellor Rhee. Tune in tonight at 10pm E.T. to see the interview and hear the Chancellor answer some of the questions.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Anderson Cooper
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Carolyn (Orange County,CA)

    I disagreed with Michelle Rhee's comment regarding technology. Not only can it play a major role in the classroom because sometimes the teacher can not hands on instruction to the one student who might need it the most and computers have step by step programs to help students. More importantly, homework should be available for parents to download because trouble students in lower grades need parents to track them and their work. It's a way for teacher to be in touch with parent.

    January 8, 2010 at 6:23 am |
  2. Patricia Clark

    Michelle Rhee commented on the fact that teachers (poor performing) cannot be let go for various contractual reasons. This however is not true and goes back directly to school administrators who are responsible for teacher evaluation. Even a teacher who has achieved tenure can be let go IF the administrators properly evaluate poor teachers. True, the evaluations must be done in accordance with teacher contracts and procedural guidelines; however, ANY teacher, regardless of their status, can be let go if they are not performing and if the administrators properly evaluate and document the teacher's poor performance. I am surprised Ms. Rhee, given her position in the Washington D.C. system appears unaware of this universal practice.

    January 8, 2010 at 6:01 am |
  3. PA Critz

    I can only speak for the state I live in, California, where prospective teachers are required to take numerous tests prior to entering the teaching profession. These tests are designed to test the prospective teacher's mastery of subject matter. This in itself is insufficient. A person who knows a great deal about a subject is not necessarily a person who can clearly convey this information to students, much less present information in an engaging and challenging manner. Having an advanced degree does not impress a 5th grader when you are trying to teach him to read. The manner in which teachers are recruited and trained needs to be modified in order to bring greater numbers of intelligent and creative individuals into the profession.

    January 8, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  4. Sara

    What about holding the students accountable and the parents accountable? What about the students that are discipline problems, that disrupt class, that teachers waste over half of a class period dealing with, that refuse to work in class, that never take a book home let alone do any homework?? Do you know that there are actually students in band class that come to class refusing to participate? Until teachers get some backing from administrators and parents education will never change–good students cannot learn in an atmosphere where the teachers spend more time dealing with society's problems rather than teaching. When administrators start being adminstrators again instead of politicians and students come to school to learn and parents support the teachers then and only then will this Washington, DC administrators ideas work.

    January 8, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  5. James L. Whittington

    If you want to improve math and science in the public schools begin by improving the education of teachers. Too many individuals go into elementary and special education education because it's an easier path to a degree. We need more emphasis on math and science and creative writing in the classroom. To earn a degree teachers must take a series of college level math and sciences (and writing) courses and not classes at a middle school level. Many teachers have two degrees in education but lack subject matter skills which are needed (in this technological era) if we are going to expect our students to match those in China, India, Korea, Europe, etc.

    January 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  6. Tim Ryan

    It’s easy to say it’s the teacher that is the problem with our school system. But no one states the major problem is the "parents". If a child's parents are not involved in his or her development, more than likely, the child will not advance as fast as a child whose parents are involved.

    Don't go after the teacher, go after the problem – the parents.

    January 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  7. Jared Wigand

    Michelle Rhee said she didn't see technology playing a role in the education for Americans. Then in the next breath she says that she couldn't live without her computer, what a joke. The apple tablet will revolutionize the way we teach our children. Changing, " the way teachers are viewed in our community" is as affective as walking down a flight of stairs with a blind fold.

    January 7, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    The young man who stated that they need to stop cutting costs in Education and get the schools more books – especially up to date books with up to date knowledge in them – identified one of the more critical needs that I have seen in recent years. My children have classes where they have to share a book with at least 1 other student if not more; the books can't come home to study from and homework is difficult to do without the text. Getting into college help and being in a school where you sharpen your competitive abilities for college are also important points – college is a real eye-opener if you haven't been prepared for it.

    January 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |