I’m not sure how many of you get emails from NBC’s Education Nation, but I get them fairly frequently and was even invited to attend the Teacher Town Hall in Philadelphia (I didn’t–instead I attended a locally planned and organized event that connected me with some great people here in Philadelphia).

Right now, NBC’s schtick is an essay writing contest for a teacher to win a seat at the Teacher Town Hall in NYC. I am beginning to get tired of the whole thing, so I sent an email in return. Here it is:

Thanks, Kevin.

Just curious–what is the lure of sitting in the Teacher Town Hall? Why a contest for a seat sitting and watching something I can watch from home? Yes, I know there is a glimmer of a chance that I could get up to the mic and ask a question, but to what avail?

I understand what NBC is doing, and I’m glad they’re getting involved, but after the horrendous conference call I was invited to participate in–I hung up since I a) had no idea how many people were on the call and  b) found the format not very conducive to conversation, kind of like a bunch of blind people in a dark room–I’m wondering, “what’s the point?”

You’d be better to do an essay for a teacher to be ON THE PANEL.

Even WORSE is that when you do a search on NBC for the SOS March you get NOTHING except a video of Matt Damon. There is no mention of it on the Education Nation website either.

Where was Education Nation then?  That was THE biggest possible Teacher Town Hall this country has ever seen and NBC missed it.

I know you may just be a marketing guy, but these are serious questions and issues. It’s great and all to have some stuff for ratings and PR, but if you’re not actually tackling the big issues and covering everything, what’s the point?

I hope you are not offended by my honesty, but I just had to express what I’ve been feeling every time one of the Education Nation emails comes through my inbox.

Thank you,

Mary Beth


  1. Beverly


    Honestly. Just this week I was introduced to Regie Routman and her sterling philosophy about teachers: we are the experts. Thank you for recognizing that and sharing it with others. So often programs like NBC's can cause us to doubt ourselves as experts on teaching (I know as I first year teacher I do!), but we are IN THE TRENCHES and we know our kids. Thank you for taking a stand.

  2. npro6979


    Well said Mary Beth. NBC wants to say they are part of the conversation, but they are part of the problem by not giving teachers a real voice in education. I'm glad you sent that email, I only wish it gets passed on to someone who gives a darn.

    – Nick

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