Blog: The Educated Reporter

Education Buzzwords Bingo, Episode II: The Town Hall Strikes Back

By popular demand, we’ll be playing Education Buzzwords Bingo again during tonight’s presidential debate, which will be held in a town hall format with questions from the audience at Hofstra University in Elmstead, N.Y.. Get your official EWA card here, and be sure to follow via Twitter (hashtag is #ewabingo).

The debate topics are foreign and domestic policy, and I’m not sure we’ll hear much more (which is not much at all) about public schools than we did in the first debate. The Atlantic’s David Graham makes a strong argument that other crucial topics — including gay rights and climate change — have also been neglected when the presidential candidates have faced off.

However, as I have previously argued, it’s tough to solve problems like unemployment and spiraling health care costs without addressing shortfalls in the public education system. So listen tonight for buzzwords including college affordability, accountability, competition, and choice.

And speaking of education buzzwords, personalized learning is near the top of the list right now. Educators and researchers are looking for the most effective means of tapping classroom technology to meet students’ individualized needs. The Washington Post’s Emma Brown has a terrific piece on a new approach being tested in D.C.’s public schools: the “Teach to One” learning system.

The pilot program, in which large groups of students work independently on computers with a handful of teachers coaching and supervising, is being tested at one of the district’s lowest-performing middle schools. The idea is let students work at their own pace, so that kids who are ready to move ahead quickly can do so, while those who are struggling will get more tailored instruction to help them fill in gaps in their knowledge.

“If it works like we think it will, it’ll be a game-changer,” D.C. schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson told the Washington Post.

For more on classroom technology, check out EWA’s Story Starters website. We’ve pulled together the leading research, the latest reporting, and a wealth of resources to help you better understand the complex underlying issues. 


Have a question, comment or concern for the Educated Reporter? Contact Emily Richmond. Follow her on Twitter @EWAEmily.

Read other Educated Reporter articles.