Monday, December 17, 2007

The Spellings' Report and Beyond, Conclusion

Well, there you have it. We have all posted our comments based on our talk at the NCTE Annual Convention. We learned that dialogue is good, that both the Department of Education can learn from us, and we can learn from them.

In the continuation of the Dialogue, there will be a Featured Session at CCCC in New Orleans, April 3-5. It is scheduled for 8.00. a.m. on Friday. Appearing at that session will be Vickie Schray from the Department of Education, and the NCTE/WPA leaders for the NCTE/WPA joint task force that is preparing resources for assessment. Several of the posts in this series have alluded to those documents. So, in addition to Ms. Schray, we will have Howard Tinberg and Linda Adler-Kassner as the co-chairs of the task force. Also, we will have Jeff Andelora and Asao Inoue as the leaders of the resource packet and the white paper on assessment.

In addition to our session, the Department of Education hosted a meeting of many of the disciplinary associations representing the major undergraduate fields this past October. At that meeting, the Department outlined its plan to conduct another summit in March of 2008 followed by regional meetings again next June.

When Margaret Spellings announced the Commission that sparked all this discussion, she said she wanted to start a dialogue to address the needs of higher education. As Duane points out, the needs are there, and we already know them. As John and Anne caution, we do have serious problems, but we need to be careful of strangers offering gifts. Linda reminds us that our field, rhetoric, needs to be central to how we discuss our work, and Shelley shows us how to think about the public-ness of true scholarship. We are part of the dialogue.

Now we would like to hear from you. Do you have questions of us? Or comments you wish to make. Please feel free to use this space to extend our dialogue.


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