In the Know
The Seamless Web of Education
More than 30 states now have some type of P-16 or P-20 commission to oversee the state’s education systems from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. These commissions and, indeed, the concept of the “seamless web” of education itself raises a plethora of issues for educators at all levels of instruction.
NEA members are in a unique position to address the issues raised by this movement toward a more unified educational enterprise for our nation. We are, after all, an organization comprising teachers and education support professionals at all levels of learning. Yet there is a good deal of evidence that high school teachers and college teachers, whether they are NEA members or not, are not talking to one another.
NEA supports articulation agreements between secondary and postsecondary institutions and between postsecondary institutions, as long as educators from both sectors are making the academic decisions at the heart of these articulation agreements.
In this distinction lie the questions we wish to discuss in this Special Focus. What should be the content of these agreements? How do higher ed members, as well as K-12 members, carry out NEA’s commitment to improved access to higher education while ensuring that students are fully prepared for college when they arrive? How effective are early college high school and dual enrollment programs? What about Advanced Placement courses? Which of these programs work and what isn’t working? What should high school teachers be doing to better prepare their students for college? What can colleges do to help high schools with this preparation?
There are also questions for higher ed and secondary school faculties—and staffs—about how we can work together within NEA and our state and local Associations. What are the perceptions and misperceptions that separate us? More importantly, where are we working well together, and what can others learn from that? The P-16 or P-20 movement is upon us. If we don’t define the issues, someone will do it for us.
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From The Lectern
We have fought for the democratic principles of equality under the law, equality of opportunity, equality at the ballot box, for the guarantees of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have fought to preserve one nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Yes, we have fought for America with all her imperfections, not so much for what she is, but for what we know she can be. Perhaps the greatest battle is before us, the fight for a new America: fearless, free, united, morally re-armed, in which 12 million Negroes, shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Americans, will strive that this nation under God will have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, for the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth.
—Mary McLeod Bethune
New York City, New York, November 23, 1939