Mom Congress 2012

WOW.  Wonderful. Outstanding. Women.

That about sums up Mom Congress 2012 for me. We began on Sunday then continued at the National Press Club in D.C. on Monday with a great line up of speakers starting with NBC News’ Education Nation. It’s been an amazing experience.

We heard from many powerful leaders in education, who are working hard – very hard – to make our education system and the experience our kids and families get the best it can be.

But the most incredible part is what these 50 amazing mom delegates, plus the 50 mentor delegates from last year, have accomplished to improve education in their own community, at the state level and in many cases, nationally.

For the next few days, I’ll share with you some highlights of what I’ve learned and heard from key speakers and moms. For anyone on Twitter, I’ve been tweeting about the conference – @ml_nichols or follow #momcon2012.

We had the pleasure of meeting Arnie Duncan, President Obama’s Secretary of Education yesterday – an engaging dad (4th grade daughter and a 2nd grade boy) with a big job. Arnie’s key points:

  • We are beginning to transform our education system and challenge the status quo. Remember – budgets are not just numbers on a piece of paper. They reflect our values.
  • We must strengthen and elevate the teaching profession in America and stop beating down our educators. We are investing 5 billion dollars to do this.
  • I’m as concerned as any parent or teacher about over testing and teaching to the test.
  • Forty-five states plus D.C. have signed on to the new Common Core Standards in Math and English. This means kids across the nation will learn the same thing beginning this coming fall.
  • There will be no more dumbed-down curriculum that makes school’s test scores look better. And future standardized tests, based on these Common Core standards, will test more critical thinking than memorizing.
  • Your role as parents is critical. The partnership you create with your child’s teachers and schools makes a big difference.

For Arnie Duncan’s full speech to Mom Congress 2012, click here.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some great stories on what’s making our schools healthier – in the cafeteria and on the playground.

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