The Education Writers Association, to which I belong as an associate member, will hold its 2006 annual meeting June 1-3 in New Orleans. Education reporters and academic communicators like myself will discuss math and science education and how the U.S. compares internationally. Among the many related topics are local control vs. a national curriculum, charter schools v. high school reform, teacher quality, and accountability.
This meeting should be particularly interesting, following by just a few weeks the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association and its theme, education research in the public interest. AERA President Gloria Ladson-Billings and program committee chair Bill Tate have assembled a conference that asks, “If education is charged with helping citizens participate in the public arena, what then is the role of education research? “We are living in an era where there is an increasing retreat from all things public—public health, public housing, public transportation, and even public schooling—in favor of privatization,” they write. “Education researchers are positioned to help reinvigorate the discourse and the investment in the public good by offering research and scholarship that directly look at education and the public.”