National Teacher of the Year: 'The revolution begins with us'
2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki spoke at the NEA annual meeting on July 5.
July 5th, 2012
04:19 PM ET

National Teacher of the Year: 'The revolution begins with us'

By Donna Krache and Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

(CNN) - The United States is obsessed with high-stakes testing that doesn't show whether teachers are masterful and students are knowledgeable, National Teacher of Year Rebecca Mieliwocki said to nearly 8,000 of her colleagues at the National Education Association annual meeting Thursday.

"When we help a child reach proficiency at any grade level, we have changed the quality of that child's life and that community forever," she said. "But aiming for proficiency means we aim to create generations of children who are average."

Instead, she said "people who haven't set foot in a classroom" should not be making decisions and policies about teaching, and teachers should be aiming to take all students - whether hungry, homeless, in the midst of their first crush or celebrating the big game - beyond the test.

"We have got to stop talking about testing and start talking more about developing, supporting and celebrating teachers," she said. "Teachers are the architects of the change we've been waiting for. We've forgotten what a teacher can do that a standardized test can't."


July 5th, 2012
11:33 AM ET

Implosion brings down Crimson Tide landmark

by James Dinan, CNN

(CNN) It took just a few seconds for a 43-year-old dormitory to turn into rubble and dust.

Rose Towers, a landmark residence hall on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, was demolished via implosion Wednesday morning to make way for new student housing.

Dozens of people gathered near Rose Towers to see the dorm fall.

The university says that Rose Towers has been home to thousands of students, and once housed a child care center.   It will be replaced by the second phase of the school’s Presidential Village Residential Community, which is expected to open in two years.

Watch the above video to see a Crimson Tide landmark implode.

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Is Sebastian Thrun's Udacity the future of higher education?
Udacity was the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun.
July 5th, 2012
10:07 AM ET

Is Sebastian Thrun's Udacity the future of higher education?

By William J. Bennett, CNN Contributor

Editor's note: William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor, is the author of "The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood." He was U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988 and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush.

(CNN) - Educators and policymakers have long dreamed of providing universal, low cost, first-class higher education. Their wish may come true soon thanks to an unlikely source: Silicon Valley.

The mecca of the technology universe is in the process of revolutionizing higher education in a way that educators, colleges and universities cannot, or will not.

One of the men responsible for what may be an Athens-like renaissance is Sebastian Thrun, Google's vice president and pioneer in artificial intelligence and robotics. Known in science circles for his engineering feats - like Stanley, the self-driving car - Thrun is using his technological prowess to make quality higher education available to the world. I recently interviewed him on my radio show, "Morning In America."

Last year, while teaching a graduate level artificial intelligence class at Stanford University, Thrun lamented that his course could only reach 200 students in the suburbs of Palo Alto. So, he decided to offer his own free online class, with the same homework, quizzes and tests that he gives to Stanford students.

Read the full story from Opinion
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Filed under: After High School • College • Practice • Voices