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Miami Dade College to Participate in NBC’s Education Week

MDC President to participate in panel discussion, while students will participate in nationally televised conversation with Education Secretary Duncan. MDC one of only four schools selected to take part in broadcast with Secretary.
Biden Padron

Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón

Miami, September 21, 2010 - NBC News will launch its first annual “Education Nation” the week of September 27, 2010 – a nationally broadcast in-depth conversation about improving education in America, beginning with an interactive two-day summit on Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón will participate in a panel discussion Monday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m., in the Big Apple, titled The Path to the American Dream: A survey on post-secondary education. This panel will be introduced by national community college advocate and wife of Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden. It will be moderated by veteran NBC Today and Dateline anchor Ann Curry. In addition to Dr. Padrón, panelists include Dr. Leon Botstein – president of Bard College, Kati Haycock – president of the Education Trust, Dr. Ruth Simmons – president of Brown University, and Stephen Trachtenberg, Esq. – President Emeritus of George Washington University.    

National statistics show that 68% of eighth graders cannot read at their grade level; American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to 30 other industrialized countries; and most college students are “non-traditional” - spending more than four years in college or enrolling well after high school. These are only some of the surprising statistics that prove it is more vital than ever to have a conversation about improving the state of education at all levels, from early education through higher education and beyond.

Taking place on Rockefeller Plaza, which is co-owned by Tishman Speyer, the two-day summit is a call to action, shining a spotlight on the most pressing national issue of our time: Education in America. "Education Nation" will include more than 300 big thinkers in government, politics, business and technology – as well as school administrators, teachers, parents and students from across the country – to tackle the challenges in education and highlight exciting opportunities and big ideas in education reform. The goal of “Education Nation” is to provide clear information on how schools are performing, re-imagine what education in America can be, build on national momentum within the policy and reform communities, and inspire changes that enable our nation to prepare a skilled workforce to meet the demands of the future.

Special news coverage and programming airing across all NBC News programs and platforms will extend beyond the two-day summit. For the entire week of September 27th, “Nightly News,” “Today,” “Meet the Press,” “Your Business,” MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, and will highlight educational success stories, uncover staggering truths and myths about education, and demonstrate how poor education cripples our economy and society.

Speaking of MSNBC, MDC students will participate in a live one hour conversation with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday, September 27, from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT. which will be broadcast on MSNBC. In fact, Secretary Duncan and Dr. Biden made their first official visit to an institution of higher education to MDC back in March 2009. For this special initiative titled “Teach for Tomorrow: A Reverse Commencement Address,” only four colleges across America were selected to participate in the broadcast. In addition to MDC, students from Howard, Michigan State and Arizona State universities will take part. This unique event with college freshmen is intended to highlight the importance of the teaching profession.  Secretary Duncan will encourage students to consider careers in teaching.

Teach for Tomorrow will kick off during Education Nation and become a campaign aimed at encouraging students to consider teaching as a profession, especially among underrepresented minorities. Because the initiative is aimed at those students who are thinking about possible career paths, the event will be a Reverse Commencement, directed specifically at college freshmen at the outset of their post-secondary careers.  The event represents a unique opportunity to work with colleges and universities across the country to share this significant message with large groups of freshmen.  Students will have a special opportunity throughout the broadcast to speak directly with the Secretary from all across the country.

More than 50 percent of the nation’s teachers and principals are Baby Boomers. During the next four years we could lose a third of our most accomplished educators to retirement. The wave of departures will peak during the 201011 school year, when over one hundred thousand veteran teachers could leave. In less than a decade more than half of today's teachers—1.7 million—could be gone.” (Source: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, April 2008)

Even in the toughest economic times, the US hires between 80,000 and 120,000 new teachers every year.  Only 4,500 of those hires are African-American male.  Only 7 percent of teachers are African-American compared with 17 percent of the student body, and 7 percent of teachers are Latino, compared with 21 percent of the student body. Additionally, teachers of math, science, special education and English language learners are the hardest new teachers to find. Duncan wants to encourage young people who have the most talent and skill in these subject areas to consider going into the teacher workforce.

The established goals for the Teach for Tomorrow campaign

  • Increase the number, quality and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in high-need schools (rural and urban) and subject areas in greatest demand:  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English Language Learners (ELL), and Special Education;
  • Connect aspiring teachers with information about the pathways to teaching including preparation, certification, training and on-going support;
  • Enhance the perception and professional status of teaching.


For more information about “Education Nation” including a list of participants and schedule of events, visit, or follow @EducationNation on Twitter.  

Media-only contacts:
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Education Nation Media Contact: Summer Wilkie - 212-413-6776 or

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