March 24, 2015
First, I’d like to welcome our Towson students back to campus. It was lonely here without you, but I hope you had a restful and reinvigorating spring break!
Last week I made my way to the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port to begin the planning for a new national health initiative on brain health and fitness. The meeting began on St. Patrick’s Day, and in Kennedy Irish tradition, we were served corned beef and cabbage for dinner that evening.
This was an incredibly energizing conversation with a room of absolutely amazing, accomplished individuals. As the lone educator in the group, I gave a presentation on ways we must work to get the knowledge of these neuroscience experts into the hands of the teachers who need it so desperately. I am looking forward to continuing this work and am honored to have been chosen to participate.
February 23, 2015
Last week Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC, invited me to attend a conversation with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. I attended that event and enjoyed it very much, including reconnecting with educators I had not seen in a while. I was interested in hearing what the Secretary had to say, especially given the recent discussion about the amount of testing students are exposed to. Duncan agreed with that concern, but noted that he was not willing to do away with all testing because we need accountability. I do believe most people think that many tests students take are government mandated, when in fact most of these tests are given at the discretion of the local school systems. It was good to hear the Secretary express his concern for the equal education of all students, and admit we may disagree on how that should be accomplished.