HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports” Explores the State of Public Education in the U.S.

Amy Pfister
Fifteen Minutes Public Relations
(323) 556.9700


Report highlights conversations with some of the best minds in our country about the state of public education – TOMORROW, May 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET

DALLAS (May 23, 2011) – On the heels of “Dan Rather Reports: A National Disgrace,” a two-hour special presentation on the crisis in the Detroit Public Schools, tomorrow’s program features interviews with some of the country’s biggest names in education, offering insights into how we can improve our public education system and overcome the greatest challenges facing our schools.

The documentary, “A National Disgrace”, showed how years of economic decline, apathy from adults, political infighting, and outright neglect have decimated the Detroit Public Schools, denying more than a generation of children their dreams.

Sadly, Detroit is not an isolated case. In cities like Newark, Buffalo, Cleveland and so many others around the nation, school systems are struggling…failing to do the very thing they are mandated to do – educate our children.

On Tuesday, May 24 “Dan Rather Reports” speaks with four preeminent education experts: Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of the Baltimore City Public Schools, who has been lauded as one of the most progressive – and successful – big-city superintendents in the country; Jon Schnur, founder of New Leaders for New Schools and one of the architects of Presidents Obama’s “Race To The Top” program; Dr. Pedro Noguera, an urban sociologist and professor of education at New York University, whose scholarship examines the ways in which schools are influenced by poverty; and Diane Ravitch, former US Assistant Secretary of Education and best-selling author of more than a dozen books about public education.

In her discussion with Mr. Rather, Dr. Ravitch says that studies by economists show that teachers have much less influence on test scores than most people assume. “What they find, is that in terms of test scores, teachers account for about ten to 15 percent of what students learn or don’t learn in school. That’s the biggest, single influence within the school, about ten to 15 percent. Families account for about 60 percent.”

In this series of lively conversations, “Dan Rather Reports” focuses on several of the most important and controversial aspects of education reform including testing, the role of teachers unions, merit pay, charter schools, school leadership, and the so-called “privatization of public education.” The interviewees speak candidly and passionately about the best ways to help all children overcome the educational barriers they are facing in this country.

Dr. Ravitch, a former advocate for No Child Left Behind, believes in retrospect that the law is a failure. View a clip from the show:

“Dan Rather Reports: No Easy Answers ” premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, May 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.

About HDNet
HDNet (www.axs.tv) is the independent network with unique and thought-provoking content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including the network’s Emmy Award winning HD news feature programs, “HDNet World Report,” and “Dan Rather Reports,” featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant – telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence. HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries, airing as part of the “HDNet ‘Round The World” series. “NASA on HDNet” presents all live shuttle launches through 2011.

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