Education Secretary Arne Duncan, AFT President Randi Weingarten and Head of School Administrators Association Dan Domenech Candidly Discuss the Promise and Cynicism Around Historic Collaboration Conference

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Organizers of unprecedented labor-management gathering answer tough questions

Today BAM Radio Network, the education station, released a pre-event interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, on the upcoming labor-management collaboration conference, Feb 15-16 in Denver, Colo. The aim of the conference is to find new ways to work together on behalf of students. In the segment, three of the conference organizers talk with RAW Education News Radio host Errol St. Clair Smith about their positive expectations for the unprecedented and potentially historic event. The three conference collaborators also addressed tough questions about community cynicism and fatigue with failed education reform initiatives. The program is available on demand at or directly at

The program can also be downloaded from iTunes at

"This can be a turning point, literally for public education in this country," said, Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "If we can create the time and the space for folks to talk and listen, the examples are there…. For those who think we can't do it, the fact of the matter is it's being done today around the country. This is not some hope in the unseen or some imaginary vision. We have concrete examples, district after district, of remarkable breakthroughs," said Duncan.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Funding to support the conference is being provided by the Ford Foundation.

When asked about the people who have become weary of failed education reform initiatives and have grown cynical, Randi Weingarten replied," You have to respect the cynics because they been through a lot…every three and a half nanoseconds we're trying something new and different that we pretend is going to work and then it doesn't. That's why they're cynical. But the bottom line is this, every teacher I know, every administrator I know, when you start focusing in what works for kids and you create a respectful, trusting, collaborative environment… then you see real motion on behalf of kids."

About RAW Education News Radio

RAW Education News delivers C-SPAN-like education news coverage for a new generation. The program aims to update the public affairs programming model by repackaging government affairs content into a format more suited for a growing generation of educators, advocates, journalists and education leaders with limited time and limited attention. The program is called "RAW" because, like the CSPAN model, the programming emphasizes content over glossy production values. Unlike C-SPAN, however, RAW Radio seeks to deliver more of what listeners want, in less time. The program is distributed across the BAM Radio Network.

About BAM Radio Network

The BAM Radio Network is the largest education radio network for parents, teachers, administrators, advocates, journalists, legislators and all people interested in education-related topics. The network offers 21 channels of education programming available on demand and hosted by the nation's leading educators and advocates. The network is a joint venture between privately held Washington, DC-based Moving & Learning and Los Angeles-based Jackstreet Media Ventures LLC. The programming is produced and distributed through the Affiliate Nanocasting Network.

Exceptional Educational Reporting Team

BAM Radio Network has assembled the heads of the education community's leading associations to bring you the most insightful, accurate, relevant and up-to-date information on the education issues people really care about. The on-air hosts include:

  • Jerlean Daniel, executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Gerald Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
  • William B. Harvey, executive director of the International Reading Association
  • Gail Connelly, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators
  • Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association
  • Paul Young, president and CEO of the National Afterschool Association
  • John Musso, executive director of the Association of School Business Officials
  • Brian Crowe, executive director/CEO of the National Association of Child Care Professionals
  • Amy Garcia, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses
  • Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance
  • Linda Geigle, executive director of the National Association for Family Child Care
  • Eric Karolak, executive director of Early Childhood Education Consortium
  • Linda Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
  • Sherry Waugh, president of the National Coalition for Campus Children's Centers
  • Diane Whitehead, executive director of the Association for Childhood Education International

These education advocates are at the center of their respective communities and have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on moment by moment. Their programs are an invaluable resource for reporters, advocates, activists, legislators, analysts, parents, educators, administrators and anyone interested in transforming education.

Insightful Commentary

To bring a wider, richer perspective to listeners, BAM Radio augments its team of expert hosts with a cadre of accomplished journalists who provide insightful commentary. BAM's core of on-air commentators includes Jay Mathews, education columnist with the Washington Post; Debra Viadero, associate editor at Education Week; Lisa Guernsey, Director of New America's Early Education Initiative, former staff writer at the New York Times and contributor to Early Ed Watch; Liz Willen, formerly with Newsday and Bloomberg Markets magazine and currently with the Hechinger Institute; Valerie Strauss, education columnist with the Washington Post; and Ugo Uche of Psychology Today.

Combined, this team of hosts and commentators provides a panoramic perspective and exceptional insight on the education issues of the day.


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