Summer Seminars at Six: An Introduction to Education Policy

These seminars are designed to share information about education policy that will help teachers to be engaged and participate in policy discussions at the federal, state and district level. Led by teachers working at the Department, along with other staff, there will be opportunities for questions and discussion both in person and online.

Dates: Every other Thursday: July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.

Time: 6:00 PM ET-7:30 PM ET

Location: U.S. Department of Education’s LBJ Building (400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202) and online through U-Stream.


  • An ED 101 Primer, Thursday, July 14. Questions to be answered include:
    • What is the mission or purpose of the U.S. Department of Education?
    • How is education funded in the United States?
    • What is the organizational structure of ED, and where can I go for help with my issue?
    • What is Title I and how does it work?
  • Who’s on First? State and Federal Roles and Responsibilities for Education, Thursday, July 28. Questions to be answered include:
    • What are the states’ and the federal government’s responsibilities for education?
    • What is the Common Core?
    • What are the primary ED funding streams and competitive programs?
    • What is Race to the Top and how does it support teachers and students?
  • Fixing What’s Broken in No Child Left Behind, Thursday, August, 11. Questions to be answered include:
    • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act and No Child Left Behind—same or different?
    • What problems are teachers, schools, and states having with NCLB?
    • In their Blueprint for Reform, what do President Obama and Secretary Duncan propose to do to fix what is not working in NCLB?
    • What does the Blueprint propose with regard to testing?
    • What is the federal School Improvement Grant program for low-performing schools and how might it affect my school or state?
  • Leading Their Profession: Teachers and Education Policy, Thursday, August 25. Questions to be answered include:
    • What are ED’s proposals for strengthening teaching and supporting teachers?
    • What does the Blueprint say about teacher evaluations?
    • What can teachers do to get involved in educational issues both at the national level and in their state or district?
    • What are the Teacher Incentive Fund and Title II?

Register to attend the Summer Seminars at the U.S. Department of Education or to view the Summer Seminars online through U-Stream.

Visit ED’s Summer Seminar page for more information.


  1. I just recently found out about these and attended the August 11th seminar on fixing No Child Left Behind. It was superb! As a teacher, it was an incredible morale booster. I particularly enjoyed how at the end of the seminar, the Department of Education (DOE) staff fielded some pretty tough teacher questions, and did not back away from them. I wish more teachers across the U.S. were aware of these and could see the care and concern that the DOE has for us; the DOE no longer seems like a nebulous structure somewhere way above us. Because these seminars are great for morale, I would like to see them continued maybe on a quarterly basis throughout the school year.

  2. Watching the first seminar made me realize how out of touch those inside the beltway are with those of us out in the trenches. They have deluded themselves into thinking that they are important. The first seminar only made me angry.

  3. Those who view this can: share, tweet, or facebook! Perfect! I’m trusting that the word gets out and many will be able to attend. My goal is to bring @ least five! Looking forward to tomorrow’s session.

  4. I ‘m not available at the times of the seminars, but can I get access to view them, or a transcript, when completed?

  5. I would like to say that I am very much pleased that the Department of Education is hosting these Seminars for the teachers. But I feel that these seminars should also be extended to parents who children attend Public Schools. Their are alot of parents who are still very much unclear of how the Department of Education functions, organization structure as well as what Title I funds are and how they work. Also we have parents who do not understand what the new Common Core standards are and how they will function. Their are parents who do not understand what the Race to the Top is and own the funds will be used to benefit the schools.

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