“What is happening to teacher evaluations when they are tied to test scores? How are the systems put in place as a result of Race to the Top working out in places like Hillsborough, Florida, Memphis, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? How about having Linda Darling-Hammond report on her research. Have teachers speak about their experiences?
“What can we expect from Common Core assessments? Teachers, students and principals from New York should be heard from. The researchers at FairTest have been studying the new Common Core tests, and could share their views. Carol Burris, New York's principal of the year, would be a great choice or Peter DeWitt, another great principal from New York.
“Should special education students be required to take the same standardized tests as others, as Secretary Duncan insists? Should their schools and teachers be evaluated based on their scores?
“What is happening to Early Childhood education? What do the Common Core standards and associated curriculum and tests expect of young children? Nancy Carlsson-Paige could offer some insights, along with kindergarten and first grade teachers who have been implementing the new programs.
“Challenges for Charters: Are they delivering on their promise? What is the story with attrition and selective admissions? Researchers Julian Vasquez-Heilig, and Bruce Baker could offer some insights on the results they are seeing.
“A critical look at Teach for America as it enters its 23rd year: This summer a debate opened up within the organization - let's hear from Gary Rubinstein and some of the alumni of the program, as well as researchers who can tease apart the effects of teacher turnover and attrition and the impact of alternative entry programs like TFA.
“Veteran teachers: Treasures or Liabilities? This recent post by Steven Singiser reveals that in many schools, teacher turnover is actually seen as a positive thing, and veteran teachers are viewed with suspicion. Is the veteran teacher a treasured source of expertise or an expensive albatross?
“Education Nation is a magnificent concept, and always has been. But so long as the very FACTS that guide the discussions are drawn from the Gates Foundation, and Gates grant recipients are the chief experts featured, we do not have a true dialogue, a real debate about the future of education in America. We have instead a showcase for test-driven school reform, with some cameo appearances by real educators who sometimes are allowed to strike a note of skepticism…”