In 2002, McREL started a project to start a movement to bring education leaders and community members across the U.S. together to start an important dialogue to make sure that standards-based education lives up to the promise of leaving no child behind. To support this effort McREL created a website that supported the dissemination of information about the project. This site provided important research-based resources on standards-based education. It also provided information about the schedule of events meant to bring educators and community members together to discuss the important issues to make the movement a success.
As IT Manager at McREL during this project I worked with a team to support the creation of the website and the deployment of the website on McREL hosted servers. I also was invited to assist in the efforts of the National Dialogue events.
National Dialogue Description
The challenge has never been greater for America’s public schools. At the dawn of the 21st century, we are calling upon our schools to do something that no institution and indeed, no society has ever done. As U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige put it, “never in the history of human civilization has a society attempted to educate all of its children.”
To accomplish this goal, states, school districts, and schools all across the country have undertaken a movement of unprecedented scale in the history of American schools — standards-based education.
But now comes the hard part — making sure standards live up to their promise of leaving no child behind. It’s one thing to create standards, tests, and accountability systems, but quite another to find ways to make sure all kids actually reach those standards.
In response to this need, Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), a nonpartisan, nonprofit education research organization in Aurora, Colorado, has teamed up with Public Agenda, a nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research organization in New York City to create and support community dialogues all across the country.
These three-hour dialogues are built on a simple process, called the National Issues Forums, which has been used in communities nationwide for the past 20 years to help them weigh tough choices on divisive issues.
FAQs from National Dialogue Project